With more than four decades of experience in farming and a multi-billion-dollar track record as a senior agribusiness executive, Detlef Schoen is one of few experts globally that combine experience and a successful track record all the way from hands-on farming to international agribusiness and financial markets. He is widely known for his thought leadership in sustainable farmland and agribusiness investments. After a career that has taken him from commodity grain trading to farmland investment manager, he is now driven by the firm belief that the world needs a fundamental shift in the way it is farmed and is pursuing his ambition of setting up a first-of-its-kind large-scale, sustainable and climate neutral farming and agribusiness company.
Assets producing food (including water) or energy are the only resources truly vital to mankind;
Both are being stretched to the limits and beyond by the combination of exponential population growth and increasing purchasing power;
Done well, farming is an intrinsically profitable business – enough farmers need to make enough money to produce enough food;
Investments in agriculture can therefore provide attractive risk-adjusted returns that are uncorrelated to the main asset classes and largely inflation-proof;
But: over decades, farming has become addicted to unsustainable ´fixes´ such as Nitrogen fertilizer, effectively mining the planet and in places already ‘over-dosing’ today;
The result: farming- and food-related emissions are among the greatest causes of global warming;
However: ‘climate-smart,’ regenerative agriculture, aiming at de-carbonizing the atmosphere by re-carbonizing the soil, has the potential to reverse climate change by not only reducing GHG emissions but by also removing very significant volumes of CO2 from the atmosphere;
Conclusion – there is both the need and the possibility to initiate a radical shift towards sustainable food production, stabilizing food security and transforming agriculture from being a ‘climate problem’ to becoming a powerful ‘climate solution.’
Detlef Schoen will be presenting “Changing the Way The World is Farmed: How Institutional Investment Can Transform Global Food Production” at the Regenerative Food Systems Investment Forum Sept. 30-Oct. 1 in Oakland, California. Learn more about him and the entire speaking faculty here.