Project Description

Grounded partners with farmers to address their most pressing problems head-on

A value chain approach for holistic landscape restoration

Grounded systematically develops landscape-scale businesses that produce higher yields while simultaneously having a positive impact on the environment. In so doing, Grounded supports and fosters the mass restoration of nature and degraded farmland across sub-Saharan Africa. These landscape companies are currently producing essential oils, dried herbs and Honeybush tea, and exploring a variety of spices. Grounded supports these companies in the marketing and selling of their products.

Rebuilding the landscape by building a movement

Knowledge fields

What they do

Grounded works on 4 returns business and market development with communities – currently in four different landscapes: the Baviaanskloof and  Langkloof in South Africa, Simalaha in Zambia and the Bongolava Forest Corridor in Madagaskar.

Grounded’s role in these landscapes is to work with farmers to identify, test and develop new business models, focusing on crops that improve the soil and setting up landscape-level agro-processing entities that will enable farmers to generate long term sustainable profits.

The team brings together expertise in market development, business development, farmer support & operations, soil experts and creative experts for marketing and communications.

Grounded envisions landscapes in which farmers and consumers are given the power to invest in their soil, their health and each other.
Their mission in this is to bring quality agricultural products to market that have been harvested from healthy landscapes by the farmers they partner with and to enable consumers to invest in this process.

How to get in touch?

Office address:

The Bureaux Serviced Suites.
Block A, Woodstock Exchange
66 Albert Road, Woodstock, 7915
Cape Town, South Africa

4 returns

From a 4 returns holistic perspective, what could be potential outcomes at a landscape level in 20 years?


Return of Inspiration

People are proud of the Baviaanskloof Development Company; children of farmers are coming back to the farm.

Social Capital

Return of Social Capital

50 jobs created, bringing people together from across the landscape to collaborate on restoration activities.

Natural Capital

Natural return

46.000 ha under improved management with improved water security for the city downstream (Port Elizabeth, c. 1 million people)

Financial Capital

Return of Financial Capital

Farmer income per hectare can be doubled; investor return IRR 10%+ (rand).

Ecological approach in a nutshell

In long-term partnerships of Grounded with NGOs and farmers, the landscape gets mapped, and critical ecosystem functions are identified. Then, businesses are established that align with efforts to conserve these ecosystems, and contribute to the restoration of degraded ecosystems. Production plans support the transition to regenerative farming practices.

For example, the Baviaanskloof Devco company has been able to implement a large scale (+200 ha) regenerative agriculture program on its cultivated fields, through a strong partnership with Living Lands. This consists of cover cropping, various kinds of compost applications, essential microbes, soil minerals, as well as the use of livestock to graze between the rows.

Organizational model

Grounded is a social enterprise, which means they are a for-purpose business. Our social mission is vested in their Articles of Association.
This means Grounded shares risks and values with farmers, investors, partners and consumers.

Organisational model Grounded

How they inspire & collaborate

Grounded closely collaborates with Living Lands, who are facilitators on the landscape. The Living Lands approach integrates the building blocks of Theory U and the Commonland 4 returns. This approach brings bottom-based and top-guided processes together to facilitate social learning and collaboration between local stakeholders.

We are related to

Find out more

Vimeo channel of Grounded:


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