Paul, pilot
July Update 2021

Last month I mentioned that we have a new MD. This month I'll introduce him because he's a lot more on board. Not completely, we still must finalise his visa which is probably 6 weeks away. The issue is the previous team didn't do the admin correctly, so we need a new shareholders meeting and new paperwork.


It is fairly normal in Indonesia for legal administration to be repeated a few times! Paul cannot start work properly until his visa is completed, of course, but I can tell you more about him.


Paul was an industrial chemist when he joined the British Royal Air Force and spent 20 years as a fighter pilot. He came to Indonesia to surf and stayed to work, first in the hotel industry in Jakarta, and became that rare breed, an Indonesia experienced Managing Director, working across a range of industries. In the process, he graduated as a Six Sigma Quality consultant specialising in scalability, something we desperately need at the speed with which we plan to grow. He was working for a gold mine in Manado, North Sulawesi on a salary alone in excess of $150,000.


Naturally, we couldn't afford him. But he was already a shareholder and we tempted him with a share option deal which he rightly believes will be worth a great deal more as he does his job!


One of the reasons for taking him on, is to present a more professional company to potential investors. I don't know whether it is this, or our new prospectus, written by myself, with his input on the finances and arranged beautifully by Ton van Bragt, an investor who used to be a Brand Director for Proctor & Gamble. We are getting a much greater number of enquiries for shares, not just from the small investors whom we court, but from much larger investors. In the beginning, I was offered investment by two companies, each time offering ten million dollars.


Far too much money, I would have no idea what to do with it. They told me this was the minimum amount major players would invest. I declined, not trusting their objectives. We are a decidedly social and environmentally conscious company, which is essential for our success. Now, it is easy to recognise the difference between the two types of potential investors. Ethical investors and pirates. One recent investor finished by saying, oh and I want 50 shares each for my kids. This tells me these are good people whom we must look after.


We don't need money. There are still 27,000 shares available, currently worth $100 a share. We do not need $2,700,000. $500,000 is more than enough. We will get that easily. What we are offering people is the chance to make money by investing in us.


We are more socially conscious investors, and we shall reward such people handsomely over the coming years. We have raised over $100,000 in the last couple of months and we are able to be selective about whom we accept as shareholders.


We also have on the table an offer of 2 million dollar worth of finance in the form of a line of credit. This could be interesting, if we decide to buy green vanilla beans for processing next year, which we may do if we have a market. IFF, the largest buyer in the world, have a sample of Balinese vanilla from us and they are interested, as we learnt a couple of days ago. So this is an exciting possibility.


In the meantime, Garden 4, our first raised bed garden, goes from strength to strength. An

independent, knowledgeable buyer forecasts we will get 8kg of green beans per plant from it. Our caged tree gardens are not doing so well. They flourish at first, then stutter to a stop after two years with poor growth thereafter.

Consequently, we are in the process of converting them all to raised beds. 1,2 and 3 already

converted. Just started on 5. There remains only garden 6 which is not raised bed.


We are assured that the Bali starling will not eat the vanilla shoots like the mynah. Hmm. Well, we’ll try and see what happens. Garden 10 is slowly developing to become The Otter Cafe, and a place to display ourselves.


Another venture is that we are testing our own compost, including rice husks and straw. This is important, as it can be copied by local farmers, whereas our solution may be too expensive. The drawback is that fusarium fungus, the vanilla killer, loves rice straw...


The prospective land that we were looking at for our next gardens does not look likely to happen, for a variety of reasons, but more land is on offer to us. We haven't decided on Garden 17 yet. This month we are finishing off the conversion of gardens to raised bed and planting out garden 15. Garden 16 is getting shade trees.


We are expecting to raise the value of your shareholding by at least 25% at the end of next month.



Chairman Royal Spice Gardens


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