Once mature, each of our 10,000+ sandalwood trees is expected to pull in about $1,800 USD in profit.
Each tree costs about $200 USD to grow and harvest. This estimate covers harvest costs (about $15 per tree) and maintenance costs over the lifecycle of the tree, including expenses related to planting, pruning, and cleaning.
Sandalwood trees can be expected to live 15 to 40 years. When a tree is harvested, everything goes – making more room for new growth.
Sandalwood trees have two main threats: fire and a plant pathogen called phellinus noxius. Fire lanes have been introduced to curtail damage by bushfires, allow easy access to monitor trees, and keep the invasive mile-a-minute creepers at bay. Because planting herbaceous plants helps prevent the spread of the phellinus noxius fungal root infection, we have planted a variety of natural plants around our sandalwood to combat any potential phellinus noxius. Since cyclones can be a concern in Vanuatu, it’s worth noting that the Santal Valley site was chosen specifically for its natural cyclone protection, and we have also grown windbreaks to assist with these efforts.
As a country with no capital gains tax, Vanuatu is excellent for business. While the cost of starting a business can be high, the tax setup and the benefits of being in the lucrative sandalwood industry make this a more than viable place to start and run a business.
Infrastructure is also improving throughout the Vanuatu archipelago, but especially on Efate island, where Santal Valley is located about 20 minutes from the country’s capital. Being situated on the capital island has many advantages, including access to good roads, 4G internet, and international airports that keep us connected.
Santal Valley adheres to all standards for international commodity/agricultural trade, and we are looking to establish ISO standards for our endemic species. Kava is more advanced, and standards such as the Geneva Food Standard are used for kava export. Our online system enables timely evaluation and management of import and export certificates, licences, and permits.