Ethnobotanical International Visions & Strategies

Technical support and resource services for medicinal plants

EIVS is a company providing management, technical support and resource services associated with the agriculture, scientific and commercial sectors of the medicinal plant industry.

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Why Invest with EIVS

EIVS is run as a small business. We have started with no investments and currently have a business with no debit and that has run well for the last ten years. We show a small profit each year. We do not need investments. Seed money would help us to continue to help people and to develop sustainable agricultural in the medicinal plant industry.

As CEO I have 18 years of experience working in a very difficult area of the world. I ran a LLC in a country (France) where the government took 63% of our gross earnings. Our profit margin was consistently between 10% to 15% each year depending on student enrollment. Our sector is adult education in non-conventional medicine.

I continue to run a school in Switzerland since 1998 that operates with less charges and a higher profit as Switzerland has a favorable view of the work ethic and small business. Education relating to non-conventional medicine is also VAT free in Switzerland unlike in France. No debit is associated with my existing company.

One reason you may consider investing in the shared vision of EIVS is that we don’t need the money in order to continue with our project of developing sustainable agricultural and economies in the medicinal plant industry. This means that:

a) No-one is being a paid a salary with your investment
b) This means the burn rate of the investment money is extremely low
c) Our focus is on risk management because our money is currently making this project work
d) We are interested in seed money to help our project grow faster – not to make them work and become profitable
e) We are based in Switzerland and the main currency we use is the Swiss France

There are several key points to our project. One of the most important is that of using three or more very different geographical locations and climates for our project. This is a main point in favor of risk management. Agriculture is – at the best of times – a risky enterprise due to Mother Nature’s tenancy to ignore human efforts and settlements. Therefore, if one location gets hit by a 100 year storm and we lose everything we still have two other locations. An additional aspect of our risk management is that in each location we are developing different crops and plantations at different elevations and locations. Not only does this help us in risk management it is also necessary for the variety of medicinal plants that we need – many have very different needs in terms of climate.

An example is in India where one project is isolated in the mountains over 2000 meters (roughly 6000 feet) and another is in low foothills of 200 to 300 meters (600 to 900 feet). We are currently looking into this possibility in Hawaii as well which offers us the same kinds of extreme elevation changes with variances of humidity in a relatively small geographical area. As of 2015 I have found two different growers for tropical herbs in the Hawaiian Islands.

Yet another aspect of risk management at this time is that all of our projects are in democracies. It is possible that we may start projects in non democratic countries. However, one of the primary goals of EIVS is to develop education and sanitation in rural agricultural areas. We hope to provide income that will reduce population drains from agricultural areas and to try and preserve local culture and healing traditions. In general, our projects are meant to create an amelioration of humanitarian issues. All of these goals are more difficult (or impossible) in non-democratic countries. There is also less calculated risk when working in countries that have stable governments.

Another main point to this project is the diversification of plant spices in different areas of the world when legally possible. One of the main problems with the current supply and demand structure in the medicinal plants industry is that some locations have total control on a species. When possible we would like to diversify the species to avoid natural, or other, disasters. To this end we have begun very positive relations with a university that is interested to help study the sustainable methods of agriculture as applied to medicinal plants.

The last main point of our project is our vision of management. Each geographical area has a regional manager to co-ordinate the country. Under them are a number of either farmers or micromanagers depending on the culture and social structure. As 40% of medicinal plants are wild crafted (gathered by people in the wild) and then sold to a broker this entails special micromanagement. In some areas, South America or India for example, we need micromanagers who speak local dialects. Hence, management is shared and primarily based on a micro level – one farmer at a time.

This is coordinated first at a national level and then with me in my office. My role is to make sure we can buy the crops produced by the projects. World organization done on a micro level is the future. I have already been doing this in Europe for the last twenty years – working in three or four languages in four different countries on a daily basis. The main office has the task to assist regional manages and help them buy the products and get them shipped to the buyers in Europe or the USA.

EIVS and the staff – office workers to regional manages – are paid from the profits gained by selling the crops. None of us are taking a salary for this work. We believe in this vision of developing sustainable Fair Trade agriculture. Each of us has an income on the side already that allows us to live. Our goal of helping people grow or collect medicinal plants at a real market value will still allow us to buy the crops at much lower price than is being sold by wholesalers. We do not need to take the seed money of an investor to live – our project is going to give us money because it is economically sound.

A point that should not be forgotten is that we are based in Switzerland and our currency, the Swiss Franc, is the traditionally the most stable of all major world currencies. This works as an advantage and disadvantage concerning imports and exports. It does, however, allow us to work and save in the world’s more secure currency. This would allow for legal investments for non-Swiss residents into the Swiss Franc.

When you invest in this vision you become part of the vision to help farmers and ordinary people get a basic commodity.

Lastly, I would just like to say that my wife and I already own a house and we are debit free. I have what I want and need as does my wife. I have no debit - personal or in my company. This project is going forward no matter if people donate, invest or not. My personal goals have never been to make money. I need money to live and I already earn that. This project is about the future – if I do not start now to save the few hundred plants that give us health, heal us from disease then they are likely to either disappear or become so costly that no-one will be able to afford them.

Thanks for reading.
Cédric Smith

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