RR News Update: July 18, 2019


Raising Regenerative celebrated the release of the landmark report Soil Wealth: Investing in Regenerative Agriculture Across Asset Classes by interviewing co-author Dr. David LeZaks. We also highlight a new Opportunity Zones fund that focuses on regenerative ag, a report that compels the UK to transition to sustainable farming by 2030, two beverage companies making regenerative waves, and much more.

New Report Uncovers Tremendous Opportunity for Regenerative Ag Investment

An Interview with Soil Wealth Report Author David LeZaks

Despite the perceived barriers to investment in regenerative food systems, including higher risk, lower returns, and few viable opportunities, the findings of the new report, Soil Wealth: Investing in Regenerative Agriculture Across Asset Classes, paint a more optimistic picture. The landmark report identifies existing investments to regenerative agriculture and food – to the tune of $47.5 billion – and points toward a growing opportunity to address some significant challenges in the food system, including soil degradation, climate change, biodiversity loss, and declining rural farm community resilience.

Raising Regenerative News had the chance to connect with one of the report’s authors, Dr. David LeZaks of Delta Institute, to discuss the report, some of the key take-aways, and what it might mean for the future of investment in this space. Read more here.

Dr. David LeZaks leads the Regenerative Food Systems initiative at Delta Institute where he manages a portfolio of projects focusing on building a more regenerative economy. He will speak at the Regenerative Food Systems Investment Forum Sept 30-Oct 1.  View speaking faculty here.


In The Headlines:

Harvest Returns’ Opportunity Zones Fund to Nurture Ag Investments
A new fund from Texas-based Harvest Returns will invest in agricultural businesses in economically disadvantaged regions of the nation and will give investors tax-favorable risk-adjusted returns.

Read more here

Report Asks: Can UK Transition to Sustainable Farming within a Decade?
Radical change is needed to make UK food and farming systems sustainable within 10 years, according to a report from an RSA commission. Some see Brexit as an opportunity to make it happen.

Read more here


Beverage Companies Step-Up Investment in Regenerative Agriculture:

Anheuser-Busch Transitioning Barley Farmers to Organic

In support of its Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold, the largest brewer in the U.S., Anheuser-Busch, has launched its Contract for Change program, which will Michelob ULTRA will facilitate long-term, full-rotation contracts to purchase the barley grown from the beginning of the transition period through the first year of organic production.

Read more here

Fetzer Vineyards Details Its Regenerative Progress
Fetzer Vineyards released its Corporate Consciousness Report, highlighting the winegrower’s regenerative development progress and key milestones realized in 2017 and 2018. Among other achievements, the vineyard surpassed its 2020 goals for reductions in energy and water use two years ahead of schedule.

Read more here

An insightful panel discussion at the Regenerative Food Systems Investment Forum, led by Ethan Soloviev of HowGood and including Gina Asoudegan of Applegate, will explore both how an increasing number of start-up regenerative food companies are seeking and accepting capital investment and how food companies themselves are investing in regenerative production.  See the full agenda and register here.


What We’re Reading

It’s Time to Change the Rhetoric: Farming is Part of the Answer to Net Zero Emissions
Farming has faced a barrage of criticism recently for its role in climate change. However, much of the rhetoric has failed to highlight or focus on the huge positive contribution agriculture can have in helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Read more here

Bank Calls for Complete Change of Food and Agriculture Systems
In its vision document Towards ecologically and socially resilient food and agriculture systems, Triodos Bank calls on the world economy to change the way food is produced, traded, and consumed in order to provide for the growing world population without severely damaging our planet, people’s health and social equality.

Read more here


Interesting Opinions:

Changing Agriculture from a GHG Emitter to Absorber
Agricultural scientists across the globe have been making new discoveries about soil health. Soil, writes Rob Jackson of Stanford’s Woods Institute for the Environment, “is a no-risk climate solution with big co-benefits. Fostering soil health protects food security and builds resilience to droughts, floods, and urbanization.”

Read more here

The Ocean: The Big Blue Gap in the Green New Deal
The authors believe that the ocean can go from unsung solution to policy cornerstone. To make that happen, the United States will have to do four things: 1. restore and protect coastal ecosystems; 2. invest in renewable offshore energy; 3. bolster the “blue economy;” and 4. vastly expand regenerative ocean farming.

Read more here 


What We’re Listening to:

Next Economy Now Highlights Patagonia Provisions
Lift Economy speaks with Birgit Cameron of Patagonia Provisions about the company’s pioneering forays into regenerative organic food and how they are recalibrating for a better future.

Listen here


Farmland Investment in Focus:

The recently released Soil Wealth report brings welcomed and increased attention to investment opportunities in regenerative food systems. While investments in this space are being made across several asset classes, right now real assets, such as farmland, are the main class through which regenerative food and agriculture are being financed.

How Direct Investment in Global Farmland Can Impact Your Portfolio
Farmland presents a powerful opportunity to play a strategic role in investment portfolios – offering attractive risk-return potential, portfolio diversification, and an inflation-hedging tool.

Read more here

The Investment Case for Regenerative Farmland
Regenerative farmland assets their own unique case for investment, not the least of which are the rewards that can be reaped from improved soil health. The specific benefits of investment in regenerative farmland are explored in depth in the 2016 report, The Investment Case For Ecological Farming produced by SLM Partners, on our resource page.


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