These are the most common questions that our customers have about us, our business, and how to buy trees and donation packages from us. Click on each subject to see our response.

If you cannot find the answer to your question, please contact us at

What is a social enterprise?

A social enterprise is a profit-driven company that has specific social objectives serving as its principal purpose. Social enterprises seek to maximize profits while creating benefits to society that often go hand in hand with environmental benefits. A social enterprise typically uses a large part of its profit to fund social or environmental programs.

How does Better Globe protect my personal details and purchase information?

To provide our customers with secure management of credit or debit card details, we use a certified provider for third party-solutions for customers in different parts of the world. Better Globe AS does not collect this type of information in our databases. We only have reference numbers for the cards that customers have registered with us. The reference numbers are used when a customer makes a manual repurchase of our products. They are also used for automated charges when customers subscribe to monthly savings in trees or donation packages.

The information that customers provide, such as their address and phone number, is saved and logged. This means that when information is updated on an account, both the new and the old data is retained. We do this to provide the best possible security for our customers.

We also use dedicated servers and take regular backups of the databases.

How is the financial return generated?

Better Globe Forestry Ltd. (BGF) is running a business. Essentially, it is the sale of the crops — processed crops like Moringa powder and seeds from the Moringa tree — and the timber harvest from the plantations that provide profits. The company also deals with seeds from trees.

BGF will own and operate local factories where sustainable, high-quality wood products such as furniture and parquet will be manufactured for the international market.

The company also has several additional sources of income, among them dividends from daughter companies and acquisitions. All of these income streams are supplementing the expected returns on trees and donation packages in the repurchase program managed by Better Globe AS.

Can Better Globe AS guarantee a financial return?

No. We cannot guarantee a return, and all yields are therefore estimated. The estimations are based on both the income and expenses that, to a great extent, are known. For example, BGF can, with great certainty, calculate labor costs, machinery, and other expenses, as well as the revenue from what they sell.

After over 15 years of business, we also feel that we can make reliable predictions and have good knowledge about the risks. Thus far, we have been able to minimize risks and prevent anything that could jeopardize our ability to keep our promises. And we remain fully committed to ensuring that everyone who supports our vision and BGF’s mission to reduce extreme poverty in Africa will be compensated as expected for their generous support.

Am I tied into a monthly subscription?

No, you are not. You choose to purchase trees, donation packages, or a combination of the two, as you please. You can make a purchase once-off, on occasions as you prefer, or subscribe to a monthly purchase.

If you sign up for regular savings through a subscription on trees or donation packages, you can cancel at your discretion if needed. You can easily do this by logging on to the website and changing the settings for purchases of trees and donation packages in your customer account. You are also welcome to contact us for assistance.

It is entirely up to you whether you want to purchase trees, donation packages, or both. As a customer, you decide what you want to buy and when.

Is it possible to purchase trees through my company?

Both private individuals and companies (legal entities) are welcome as customers.

In addition to private customers, we have several corporate customers who have purchased trees for many years.

What if I, as tree owner, die?

If you die, your trees will become one of the assets in your estate. They will be distributed to the beneficiaries of the estate by law.

You can also bequeath your trees if you like. The law will decide whether your wishes will be followed regarding heirs.

It is always advantageous for your beneficiaries if your assets are documented in an easily accessible way, like a will.

Each tree is owned for 20 years. The customer’s AID-code (customer number) is used to get information about the trees a person owns and the value they represent. Thus, it is an advantage if the customer number is available to the surviving relatives. A person with multiple AID tags has one login per code.

Better Globe AS must receive a death certificate to be able to transfer the ownership of the trees to the person inheriting them. Name, email address, and telephone number of the heir are also needed. If there are several heirs, then they will own the deceased’s trees together. We cannot split a customer account into multiple accounts.

Has Better Globe AS paid any returns to tree buyers?

The first year we paid a return was 2010. It was for trees that were sold to the first customers in 2006. In 2011 we paid returns for trees sold in 2006 and 2007.

Trees take four years to become productive, and the first payment is paid at the end of the fifth year. So in 2019, we paid returns to all customers who own trees (including those from donation packages) bought between 2006 and 2015. We are proud to say that all customers have been paid as expected since the return payments started in 2010. We are confident this will also be the case for the foreseeable future.

How are my Better Globe trees taxed?

You pay taxes according to the laws in force in the country where you pay taxes.

In Sweden, for example, there is no property tax. This means that you are not liable to pay tax on owning an asset. The return is, on the other hand, subject to tax. It is normally considered as a return on equity. The tax rate in Sweden for capital gains is 30 percent.

When you get a return on your tree, the amount is deposited in your Better Globe account. To use this money, you need to actively request that the amount in the Better Globe account is transferred to your bank account.

Please note that you will only be liable to pay tax on the return when Better Globe deposits the amount in your bank account.

Returns on trees owned by corporations are usually taxed differently. We recommend that you consult your accountant or tax lawyer to know what applies to your business. We have several corporate customers who have been purchasing trees for years. They have already begun to receive a return. Taxation does not give rise to problems, but policies vary depending on how the company is set up, among other things.

What is best: owning trees via a company or privately?

As an individual, you can buy trees and donation packages. If you have a business or decide to start a company, you can choose to make the purchases through your company. In the first case, you become a direct owner, and in the second case, you own the trees through the company.

What type of ownership is most favorable from an economic perspective depends on how you plan to use the financial return.

The return on trees owned by an individual is usually taxed as an income from capital or investments. Depending on where you live, this could mean that 30 percent of the profit you get on the trees is payable as tax. That is lower than if you, as an individual, want to withdraw the return on trees owned by your company.

A company typically pays 22 percent tax (in Norway) on the return that the trees are generating. It will be taxed again if the profit is paid out to you as the business owner. The amount depends on how you choose the payment to be made. This option is less profitable than direct ownership.

The situation is different if you intend to buy trees and donation packages through your company to keep the trees’ return within the company. In this case, it is more profitable to own the trees through the company because the tax rate usually is lower for the company than for you.

In which countries does BGF operate?

By 2006, BGF started to establish tree plantations and in 2016 the company started collaborations with contract farmers in various locations in Kenya. BGF began planting trees in Uganda in 2018, and they hope to be able to establish operations in Tanzania by 2021.

We contribute to the funding of schools through the NGO Child Africa, and they are already active in both Uganda and Kenya.

BGF also has ownership in companies located in several other countries in Europe and elsewhere. Better Globe AS is not owned by BGF. We are a privately-held Norwegian social enterprise engaged in sales and marketing. We employ BGF as our local agent in East Africa to care for the trees and create the social and environmental impacts that our customers help crowdfund when they buy our products.

Which GPS coordinates should I use, if I want to see BGF's tree plantations on Google Earth?

Here are some suggestions of places that you can see using Google Earth or Google Maps:

The Kiambere tree plantation
GPS: 0.691755° S 37.912830° E or -0° 41′ 30.32″, +37° 54′ 46.19″

Kibwezi Mukuyu Farm
GPS: 2.375481° S 38.076478° E or -2° 22′ 31.73″, +38° 4′ 35.32″

The Nyongoro tree plantation
GPS: -2.330086° S, 40.323278° E‎ or -2° 19′ 48.31″, +40° 19′ 23.80″

Mboti Primary School (supported through the donation package and Child Africa)
GPS: -0.738638° S 38.436699° E‎ or -0° 44′ 19.10″, +38° 26′ 12.12″

How many trees are planted on a hectare of land?

BGF has to take several parameters into account when deciding how closely the trees should be planted in their plantations. Sometimes it depends on the needs of different species. To get an idea of how closely the trees are planted, we often go by the number of trees per hectare. BGF plants between 625 and 1,000 trees per hectare. A hectare is 10 000 square meters. A hectare is the equivalent of a square of 100 meters by 100 meters.

Is cultivation organic?

BGF aims that all cultivation of trees should be organic. However, they can, unfortunately, not classify all the farming activities that take place on their plantations and, in collaboration with contract farmers, as organic. The Moringa production in Uganda, however, has been certified organic.

BGF is dedicated to sustainability in all aspects of their business. But due to local circumstances, such as depleted soils and pest control, some chemicals are used when required. Fortunately, there is ongoing research to make a safe and natural biopesticide from the leaves of Melia volkensii, the main tree species planted by BGF in Kenya.

Does BGF use chemical fertilizers or organic matter for fertilization?

The type of fertilizer used varies depending on the conditions in each specific plantation and of each farmer. This means that in addition to organic matter and beneficial bacterial cultures, chemical fertilizers are also used when there is no better option available.

Does BGF have an ISO certification?

BGF works according to quality management systems specified in ISO 9001, and environmental management systems specified in ISO 14001. The company has sound knowledge of management systems according to ISO in the organization. Rino Solberg, the founder and chairman of Better Globe Group, has previously worked with ISO consulting. He has helped more than 150 companies become ISO-certified.

Following ISO, management systems have been built into BGF’s business from the start in 2006. BGF works with the systematics and complies with the requirements that the standards prescribe. So far, they have chosen not to apply to be certified to offset the cost. With all the benefits in place that the standard provides, they have decided that the cost is higher than the value of the additional benefits a certification would entail. This decision is reviewed regularly. Certification is likely to take place in the future, as the business expands.

Does BGF have forest stewardship certification (FSC)?

BGF is working toward certifying its forest management units and partner farmer systems to guarantee responsible forest management. Forest stewardship certification labeling assures consumers that BGF wood products come from environmentally responsible, socially beneficial, and economically viable and responsibly managed forests, or like-minded partner farmers.

BGF already has the bulk of FSC’s certification requirements in place due to its commitment to social responsibility and sustainability in all aspects of its business. Nevertheless, everything will now be documented in a structured way that fits the FSC certification process, emphasizing external periodic auditing.

We are not sure when the FSC certification will be in place, but we look forward to announcing this fantastic news to our customers in the relatively near future.

Is Better Globe a charity?

We run a social enterprise that aims to help eradicate poverty and corruption in Africa. We believe that to achieve improvements in areas with pronounced poverty, a long-term business that is not dependent on grants is required. We also believe that it is beneficial for people to get help to help themselves, and that this approach is the most sustainable.

We help to crowdfund the efforts of BGF in East Africa. Besides their business activities, BGF also carries out some charity work by supporting the construction and operation of schools, water supplies, and microfinance activities.

BGF is not a charity. However, within the framework of their business goals, they carry out a lot of charitable work.

Microloans are sometimes criticized; what makes BGF's solution more adept at reducing poverty, and what is the interest rate?

Microlending is a tool that, together with other tools, can be used to fight poverty. This tool can be designed and used in many different ways. The microloan business that Better Globe supports is based on a few fundamental principles. We believe these principles are vital to counter extreme poverty effectively.

The interest rate must not be so high that it puts the borrower in a situation where he or she can not pay it. Interest rates must take into account that the loan will be used for something that helps the borrower to improve their financial situation permanently. The borrower should be able to pay the interest without jeopardizing the intended use of the borrowed money.

Microloans from businesses not related to Better Globe may have interest rates between 40 and 125 percent to create a substantial profit. Interest rates like these are likely to counteract the entire purpose of lifting poor communities out of poverty. Interest rates at the banks we help to fund support the lenders, who, as stakeholders, prosper together with the banks and communities as loans are repaid.

Microloans are never granted to cover living expenses and other consumption. The purpose of the loan is to make change possible by helping the borrower out of poverty. Consumption does not lead to an improved economy in the future. Credits granted for consumption can put borrowers in a debt trap rather than improve their ability to support themselves and their families.

Microcredit operations are not for profit. The money lent has been donated by our customers through donation packages. Once a borrower has borrowed money over a period, the loan is repaid. The funds can then be lent to the next person. The operations increase only in scope with the funds provided from donation packages. And the customers of the microcredit banks become the owners of the banks, when they start saving money, as part of the system. Besides the local community, there are no owners that require a return.

The goal of the microlending is to lend money, get the money back again, cover possible credit losses, and then lend the money out again. The interest rate to achieve this is about 10 percent yearly, which is the norm for the banks supported by donation package customers. BGF also provides training in financial literacy to further enhance borrowers’ ability to make the most of their loans.

Because the microlending we help fund follows socially responsible and sustainable principles, they differ entirely from the high-interest rate examples mentioned above. Criticism of microfinance banks is usually related to explorative interest rates. In contrast, BGF only funds microfinance projects that support local communities and that are non-profit for the company and Better Globe customers.

Does BGF make money off the poor in Africa?

BGF makes money through forestry. Through their activities, they can offer locals well-paid employment with beneficial working conditions, good health care benefits, and necessary training. BGF also improves local situations by safeguarding water supplies, supporting schools for children, and giving microlending opportunities.

BGF’s vision is to eradicate poverty and corruption. Their means to achieve that is through socially responsible and sustainable forestry. Through this, they create a win-win-win situation that benefits everyone involved, including the environment.

So the answer is: No, BGF does not make money off the poor in Africa. They provide employment, work with partner farmers, and create income opportunities while helping to restore degraded soils and ecosystems.

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Unfortunately, it is difficult for poor communities with few resources to resist financially powerful organizations. It is not uncommon for multinational companies to exploit the situation by making agreements with the developing countries’ governments, resulting in the country’s inhabitants being forced to give up their ancestral lands.

This situation is one of many reasons why BGF’s business activities are so important. Through a lively local trade, which attracts other businesses, communities are empowered and better equipped to get out of poverty. Therefore, the risk of dependency on companies that base their operation on the exploitation of local resources is reduced.

BGF leases land and works closely with communities every step of the way. In working with contract farmers, the company assists those who do not possess land ownership documentation to obtain the documents required to secure ownership of their land.

Furthermore, BGF provides employment opportunities, contributes to schools and children’s education, water supplies, and others. The company establishes plantations in degraded semi-desert areas that are considered unsuitable for economic activity and helps farmers with diversification by offering farming contracts based on agroforestry.

We need your help to put an end to land grabbing. The more trees and donation packages we sell, the more BGF can expand their business, and thus support a larger portion of the population in underprivileged parts of Africa to stand up against land grabbing.

Have you taken into account the groundwater level when drilling for water?

Yes, these questions are also monitored by the NEMA (National Environment Management Authority), which needs to give its approval before BGF can get permission to drill for water.

Drilling for water has not proven as effective as the company had hoped. Because of this, BGF primarily uses water collection methods and other ways of providing access to water.

What if my tree is harmed by insects or fire?

We offer the opportunity to buy trees that you own for 15 years. Of the number of trees we sell, BGF aims to plant up to twice as many, and soon, probably more than that.

When you buy a tree, you do not own a specific tree. Instead, you own a tree in the total pool of trees planted by the company. This strategy protects your assets because you are not exposed to the potential damage of any specific tree. BGF has implemented several risk management policies to minimize all known risk factors at their tree plantations.

To minimize the risks for our customers:
• BGF will plant at least twice as many trees as we sell
• no customer owns a specific tree
• BGF has extensive experience with the tree species they grow
• the plantations are located at different locations in different countries
• the trees are cared for, monitored, and planted to minimize the risks of fire, disease, and pests

What happens if there is extreme drought or crop failure?

BGF is a pioneer in dryland tree-planting and now a leading expert in conducting forestry in the kind of climate and terrain in which the plantations are located. The company has gathered experience since 2004, and even publishes a high-quality tree-planting magazine to help anyone interested in earning money through forestry. Miti Magazine acts as a hub of information and is a platform for the exchange of forestry knowledge between forest professionals, farmers, entrepreneurs, ecologists, nature lovers, and others.

A lot can happen, but BGF is well equipped to meet all foreseeable challenges. The species they work with grow naturally in dry environments and are all drought-resistant. As an additional measure, the company has spread its plantations geographically to limit any potential disruptions.

Parts of Africa can be politically unstable. What happens if there is a shift in power?

BGF only conducts business in politically stable regions. Hypothetically, anything can happen. Africa is generally perceived to be more unstable than many other places in the world, but that is not always the case. BGF has established itself in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania (as of 2021), where stability has been commonplace for a long time. And more countries in Africa are moving toward greater stability. BGF aims to contribute to this immensely positive development with its mission to counter poverty and corruption through transparent, sustainable, and socially responsible business principles.

What happens if the price of lumber falls?

If the price of lumber falls, BGF’s revenue for a given amount of lumber will be reduced. This is something they have to account for in their financial calculations. BGF periodically calculates the impact of such a scenario.

However, the company grows tropical hardwood trees of quality similar to teak and mahogany, both of which are in high demand. In addition to that, they do not intend to sell lumber, but rather increase profits and local employment by producing high-quality furniture. This strategy means that the company is not as exposed to lumber prices as most other forestry companies.

The company also considers it quite unlikely that the price of sustainably produced tropical hardwood lumber would drop significantly over an extended period. This view is based on the historical price performance of tropical lumber and the imbalance between supply and demand. We do not have adequate quantities of this natural resource. The likelihood that the shortage of wood will decrease is minimal, considering how the world’s tropical forests have declined in the past 60 years.

The agreements that already exist regarding trees sold through Better Globe AS are unlikely to be affected by any price reductions on lumber. The return from trees already sold is, to a high degree, shielded against potential price drops on lumber. It is more likely that if such an event would have an impact, it would only affect the calculated return on trees sold in the future. BGF is dedicated to meet its target of expected returns, and all Better Globe customers have been paid as promised thus far.

What does the price trend of timber/wood look like?

BGF continuously follows the ITTO market reports and analyses, although their reports do not specifically follow the Mukau tree, which is the main species they plant. Mukau is actually of better quality than the American mahogany that they report on, and market analyses are to our advantage. According to ITTO the price (Export sawnwood prices) for Kiln Dried Mahogany was 665 euros per cubic meter by the end of 2009. By the end of 2016, the price was more than 1,000 euros per cubic meter, an increase of about 50 percent.

BGF’s mahogany species called Mukau also has significantly better quality than “African mahogany.” A full tree of “African mahogany” gives about 0.35 cubic meters of wood worth about 330 euros (2016), which more than well covers the 170 euros in expected returns when the trees are sustainably harvested after 20 years.

Besides, both we and BGF do not believe that mahogany prices will be at a standstill for the next 20 years. And even if they were, there is enough of a margin to cover the commitments made by the company. We, therefore, consider the market risk in terms of lumber prices minimal.

When will BGF start its wood manufacturing process?

BGF has planned to have its manufacturing unit in Kenya up and running in 2030. In it, they will produce socially responsible, high-quality FSC certified mahogany wood products, such as furniture and parquet for the international market.

The income needed to start repurchasing the trees for its timber from Better Globe customers from 2026 to 2030 will also come from other parts of the Better Globe Group. It is expected that income from some of these companies (details to be made public at a later stage) will by far outperform the income that the trees alone will generate.

Another benefit is that instead of cutting the first trees in 2026, they will be given extra time to grow, and BGF will learn more about just how big the Mukau trees can get. It also does not make sense to open a manufacturing unit when so few trees were sold and planted after Better Globe AS started to sell them in 2006. For the operation to be economically viable, there needs to be enough timber to keep a manufacturing unit operational throughout a full year. From 2030 and onwards, an increasing volume of sustainably harvested tropical hardwood will be at the company’s disposal.

What if the euro collapses?

If the euro collapses, it is likely to have an insignificant impact on tree owners. Trees have intrinsic value, and the return is dependent on selling wood products on the world market, where you get paid in the currency that is most viable at the moment. This means that if the situation requires it, BGF will fulfill their commitments in other currencies such as the dollar, pound sterling, or any other currency.

Just like gold, trees have intrinsic value that does not deteriorate based on currency fluctuations. And contrary to gold, trees actually grow in size and value every day regardless of the many uncertainties in the more traditional financial markets.

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The Norwegian company is governed by Norwegian company law, which means that you can get an annual report each year. You can look for yourself at the records held at the Norwegian Companies Registration Office by clicking on this link. The figures are also available through the Norwegian website, which helps people check up on a company’s finances. Our company registration number is 992593148.

What if Better Globe goes bankrupt?

As a customer of Better Globe AS, you already have a document that shows that you own a certain number of trees purchased during a specific period. Our forestry agent, BGF in Kenya, has, however, on its initiative, together with a lawyer, drawn up a letter that allows Better Globe’s tree owners to claim their property rights to the trees in the unlikely event that the company should go bankrupt. However, a company without liabilities runs little risk of bankruptcy, and BGF’s policy is to have no liabilities and that their assets and the assets they hold for others should always cover our commitments.

Are the Better Globe trees insured in any way?

BGF has investigated the possibility of insuring trees. It is possible, but the suggested insurance premiums they have been quoted are too high to be commercially or economically viable. Insurance would also only cover the purchase price, which would be of little benefit to our customers.

BGF, therefore, works actively to reduce risks in a variety of ways; they have plantations scattered in different geographic locations, and BGF is continuously working to improve the quality of the seedlings that they put into the ground. The company has good margins on everything they do. At the same time, BGF is working toward planting more than twice as many trees as have been sold by Better Globe AS to ensure as far as possible that we together can keep our promises no matter what happens to any single tree.

What are the risks? For example, timber prices, a collapse of the euro, the company going bankrupt, the death of an employee, etc.

It is obvious that there are risks, and BGF is working hard to mitigate and minimize these risks. We discussed the timber price above. The same goes for the potential collapse of the euro. They both carry minimal risk. And the risk of a company without debts going bankrupt is small. Regardless, the trees are owned by the people who bought them, so in the highly unlikely event of a bankruptcy, you still own your trees. Please also see the answer to the question below.

All employees will sooner or later retire, leave the company, or die, but new employees can be hired as in any other company. And operating following ISO 9001 and 14001 (not certified yet) means that all internal processes are well documented throughout the company’s departments.

What happens if the trees are stolen from the plantations?

This has not been a problem. So far, no trees have been stolen from BGF’s plantations. They employ guards around the clock (mainly for protection from animals). Furthermore, BGF employees live on and around the tree plantations and would be the first to discover such an attempt. The communities around the plantations are also well aware that it is in their interest to help protect the trees and what the business does for the local population.

To safeguard their share of the profits, contractors and partner farmers will also ensure that no one steals the trees. Additionally, each contractor has a BGF agroforestry consultant that checks the trees continuously. And as our agent in East Africa, BGF is responsible for the repayment of all trees that our customers have bought, stolen or not.

How do I know that you in Better Globe and BGF do what you say you do?

To a certain degree, you do not, as most of Better Globe’s customers live far away from BGF’s operation area. But we have a high degree of transparency in our business and even arranged several trips to Africa for our customers since 2008. Between 20 to 40 customers participate on the annual trips to see what we do in Kenya and Uganda, how BGF conducts their business, how Child Africa runs their schools, and also to discover East Africa.

Some customers come home from these trips and show pictures and videos to tell all about the experience at different meetings and seminars. You can also follow along on the next customer trip that we organize to see and experience what we are doing and form your own opinion and experience. On location, you can get all your questions answered directly by BGF’s experts working in the area.

News and updates are also regularly published on our website, in Miti Magazine, BGF’s Facebook page, and at the Better Globe Media website.

Save some of your money in trees and help reduce poverty

We invite you to make a difference in East Africa and contribute to a better world. Your trees will be managed in an ethical, sustainable, and long-term way. Click on the link to our shop and make a socially responsible purchase today. With us, it is profitable to help others.