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Mountain Hazlenuts Venture

Author: Mountain Hazlenuts Venture
Published Date: 15 October 2012

A brainchild of two Stanford graduates, Mountain Hazlenuts Venture is Bhutan's first foreign-owned enterprise. Building on the work of Plantation Timber Products Group, an enterprise operating in West China, MHV aims to address the dual challenges of providing sustainable and decent livelihood opportunities to farmers and environmental degradation. By planting hazlenuts, the company hopes to take advantage of an already significant global market for hazlenut and processed products such as Nutella, as well as rapidly-expanding demand from burgeoning middle classes in China and India.

In return for agreeing to sell their harvested nuts to MHV, farmers receive tree seedlings and ongiong training and support in return. Their model also ensures that gains from higher-value-added processing are captured in-country, with MHV carrying out processing before selling the processed product to wholesalers and food makers.

Environmental gains are made since the trees, which are particularly adapt at growing in conditions unsuited to many other plants, will reduce soil erosion. Eager to point out all social gains from their venture, the MHV website also points to the "vast array of vitamins and minerals" contained in hazlenuts. So everybody wins.