№12 — Sheep share dividend

Some time last spring, I stumbled upon an article on innovative ways to eat more ecologically conscious. One of the things mentioned in the article was a sheep shareoffered by a organic farm somewhere in the farthest corner of the Burgenland in Austria. Even though I was not entirely sure what that is, I was immediately interested, so I “invested” 60 Euro in one “share” from Biohof Elpons.

“Sheep share, what’s that?” you may ask. And you rightfully do. Similar to a normal share, you invest money upfront and get a dividend each year. So far so good. In this case, however, you do not get the dividend in Euro, but rather in lamb meat — 1.7kg of lamb meat per year for three years to be exact. Unlike regular shares, you do not own parts of the company and you do not get anything out of it after the three years of meat.

Let’s talk about financial reasoning first. To decide whether this was a sound financial investment, I use the widely-known NPV. At t(0) I have a negative cashflow of 60 Euros. For the cashflows at t(1) to t(3), I assume a price per kilogram of 21.90 Euros according to Fleisch24.at (which is not necessarily organic). Therefore, we have a positive cashflow of 37.23 Euros each year. For discounting those cashflows, I assume a discount rate of 20%. Yes, this is probably not really reflecting the risk and current market conditions correctly, but I couldn’t be bothered with doing more research. Doing the math on everthing, I calculate an NPV of 18.42 Euros and thus this investment totally made sense.

Apart the financial perspecitve, there is also an ecological perspective. Consuming meat is probably not the best for the planet, especially if it is not done sustainable. I am not advocating for everybody to turn vegan, but I do think it is good to think about where food comes from and under what conditions it is produced, especially with animal-based products. I cannot even imagine under which conditions pork or chicken at 5 Euros per kilo is produced. Yet, people (and that definitely includes me) often decided solely based on price.

I can definitely recommend this for yourself or as a present for someone who cares about food. In case you are not a big fan of lamb, there are other, similar concepts like “crowdbutching” for (organic) beef, (organic) pork and geese in the Germany. Unfortunately, I have not tried those yet. In case you are wondering, I used a large part of my first dividend for a “Spanish lamb with sherry, honey & peppers” this weekend — it was pretty good.

Click here to see my list of past experiences and ideas what to do next. If you have a suggestion for future new experiences, feel free to comment or drop me a message.