On June 21st Clarmondial led a webinar on sustainable agriculture investing with Trusted Family.
Trusted Family works with some of the world’s most prestigious multigenerational business-owning families, helping them better manage their family and their family community. They take multigenerational families on a complete engagement journey through the use of a unique proprietary technology platform and complementary advisory services around family cohesion. As a result, through enhanced communication, these leading families will become even more successful. One of their areas of expertise is impact investing, they help families find their purpose and align their interests. Trusted Family regularly run family education events, including webinars on various impact investing themes.
The recent webinar on sustainable agriculture, co-hosted by Tanja Havemann and Wolfgang Hafenmayer, provided an overview of key issues in agriculture and food security, including macro trends such as:
- Changes in demographics: population increases, changes in population distribution and age, and homogenization of global diets
- Demand changes: increases in per capita calorie consumption, demand for animal-based protein and for non-food uses for agricultural product (e.g. for bioenergy)
- Increasing natural variability: changes in critical cycles (e.g. carbon cycle, water), soil quality, crop productivity (genetics), crop diversity and chemical pollution
This also covered key issues such as a lag in historical investment in agriculture, the variety of different types of agriculture investing and the potential for making different types of impact investments.
In terms of impact potential, the webinar highlighted areas such as the proportion of people involved in agriculture in emerging markets, and the fact that most of these populations are relatively young. Also, in Sub Saharan Africa and East & South East Asia, it is primarily women that are involved in agriculture.
In terms of biodiversity, the webinar highlighted how global food systems are narrowing, with rapid increases in calorie contribution to global diets by soybean, sunflower and palm oil, and rapid decreases in demand for cassava, sweet potato, millet and sorghum. This, along with the impact that agriculture is already having on biodiversity, is leading to rapid loss in the world’s genetic resource, which is a significant risk.
The webinar also highlighted the issue of fresh water in the context of agriculture, and differentiated between economic and environmental scarcity. It also indicated where climate change is already having an impact, e.g. on South East Asia and parts of Sub Saharan African production.
Participants were provided an overview of different ways to engage in agriculture, and their associated potential for impact:
This was followed by an overview of 4 specific examples as well as some resources.
The need for innovation in approaches and products was highlighted, especially in financial services, technology and infrastructure & markets, as listed below.
- How to build a scalable financial product that makes access to finance contingent on transparent & responsible practices?
- How to change risk-reward equations to favor sustainability?
- How to develop and deliver appropriate, impactful technologies?
- How to enable technologies that can promote diversity for good? (biodiversity, landscapes, crop diversity)
Infrastructure & markets:
- How to support the development and maintenance of infrastructure that can enable sustainable agriculture?
- How to facilitate commodity & financial markets to favor sustainably farmed produces, so that it becomes the norm?
The webinar concluded with Q&A session with participants.
The webinar recording is available from Trusted Family: firstname.lastname@example.org.