Gustavo Bernal Torres
Unlocking Investments in Regenerative Agriculture
The case for regenerative agriculture is clear—if all other fossil fuel emissions were eliminated immediately, emissions from the global food system alone would make it nearly impossible to achieve the Paris climate goals.
There are also dozens of corporate and institutional investor commitments to natural capital or sustainable farming that include regenerative agriculture. Managers of 48 different funds have raised more than $3.9 billion, much of it since the start of 2020, for regenerative agriculture. Capital from several sources is ready to flow to the field.
Despite inconsistent nomenclature, a diverse set of asset classes has emerged for regenerative agriculture. Efforts to transition more acres or hectares of land to regenerative agriculture were once reserved to philanthropy and blended finance. Now, commercial-rate investors have access to real assets for traditional farmland conversion to regenerative management (e.g., Clear Frontier Agriculture Management), financial loan platforms for smaller farms or pooled projects (e.g., Steward), carbon market platforms (e.g., Nori), processing and distribution platforms connecting growers and buyers (e.g., Soil Heroes), and companies and technologies that simplify the transition process through better data management (e.g., Trace Genomics) or improved land management (e.g., Vence). The pathways for capital to enable regenerative practices are numerous.