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LISTEN: A farming fiasco

In 2016, Aaron Beydoun launched a greenfield project in South America. A year later, the venture had already folded. In this podcast, the ag expert tells us what caused it to collapse – and what he would change if he had to do it again.

Money can’t do it all. When Aaron Beydoun and his partner set out to disrupt Colombia’s cocoa market in 2016, they faced obstacles they hadn’t envisaged. Political support from the government and American sponsors did little to help their cause. Zero-interest loans failed to convince farmers. And two years later, the oligopoly that runs the country’s cocoa trade remains firmly in place.

What did they get wrong? Beydoun, a US commodities trader and agriculture expert based in South America, tells us about the misconceptions that caused their project to fail. He also explains what he would do differently if they were to do it again. These are crucial lessons for greenfield investors at large: Beydoun reckons several other ventures have since folded largely due to “their very naïve outlook.”

Listen on to avoid falling in the same traps.