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Humble farmer on 'Shark Tank' reveals the reason he will never hike the price of his products

When the judges advised the farmer to raise the prices of his products from $5 to $12 to make more profit, he simply denied it.

Humble farmer on 'Shark Tank' reveals the reason he will never hike the price of his products
Cover Image Source: YouTube | CNBC Ambition

Beyond perseverance, fairness is key to business success. A business should improve customers' lives, not just make a profit. Johnny Georges, owner of Tree T-Pee, demonstrated this on Shark Tank in 2013. His company offers a water containment system that saves water, protects from frost, and grows stronger trees, all made from 100% recycled plastic.

Image Source: Hosts Robert Herjavec, Lori Greiner, Daymond John, and Kevin O'Leary of
Image Source: Hosts Robert Herjavec, Lori Greiner, Daymond John, and Kevin O'Leary of "Shark Tank" speak onstage during the ABC portion of the 2013 Winter TCA Tour at Langham Hotel on January 10, 2013. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Shark Tank is a popular show where entrepreneurs pitch ideas to a panel of judges. Johnny explained that farmers typically use 25,000 gallons of water per tree annually. With Tree T-Pee, that drops to just 800 gallons, providing tremendous help to farmers.

“When good people come together with a noble cause, great things happen,” he said hiding behind the nervousness and overwhelm he was feeling. He further added that he was making about $1 on each Tree T-Pee. He was only selling to Florida growers in five counties. The judges were shocked he hadn’t raised the price and expanded his market. Perhaps, it was the struggles Johnny had experienced growing up with a father who too was a farmer. He had always seen his father, Rick Georges, working to help people.

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Rick eventually invented micro-sprinklers that delivered optimal irrigation to each tree. In 2005, Johnny took after his father’s work and created another agricultural breakthrough product. Working hard, persistence, and giving back were something instilled in him by his father from a young age. "He lives on through me," Johnny told ABC News.


His struggles appeared evident when he was pitching in his Shark Tank feature with utter humility and honesty reflected in his speech. "For me, it was just go up there, be yourself, and hopefully they like you," said Johnny. "If not, well, they get to show the world what we're doing to conserve water," he added. The Sharks not only loved the idea of Tree-T-Pee, but they also appreciated its efficiency and were even touched by Johnny’s business story.

The show’s special guest Shark and investor John Paul DeJoria said, "When Johnny said that this Tree-T-Pee saves 3,000 percent on water, you only use one-30th the water, that's when I knew this was good for farmers. It's good for America. I want to be this guy's partner." Even the Shark Kevin O'Leary had to say something about Johnny’s pitch that day, "There wasn't a dry eye in the room that day."


After he showed up on Shark Tank, Johnny’s inbox flooded with over 50,000 emails the night the episode was aired on TV. He has also been traveling the country, illustrating farmers how the Tree-T-Pee works and making deals. He even signed a deal with The Home Depot. "I got a lot of passion, because I have a 17-year-old son, and almost a 3-year-old daughter, and I want them to have a better world than what we had," Johnny said. "I want them to know that their daddy made a difference and set the example."

"It's not about the money to me. It's about doing what's right," he added. "I work for farmers. It's what I do, and helping them helps us all. People don't realize food doesn't grow on the shelves in the grocery store."


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