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New task force unveils finance framework to support regenerative farming
FoodBev Media

FoodBev Media

12 December 2023

New task force unveils finance framework to support regenerative farming

The Sustainable Markets Initiative’s agribusiness task force has announced the launch of a new blended finance framework that could unlock trillions of dollars for regenerative agriculture. A task force of companies including Mars, McCain Foods, McDonald’s, Mondelez International, PepsiCo and Waitrose, has unveiled a plan to make regenerative farming financially viable and to explore implementation projects in India, the UK and the US. They also welcome Lloyds Banking Group to boost cross-industry support and call for policy changes to help the plan work. Last year, the task force found that the economics of reducing food waste and sustainable farming does not work for most farmers. In response, the task force outlined a framework to help increase the economic viability of regenerative farming. This includes new funding and sourcing models; the introduction of common metrics; suggested government policy changes; and a plan to create new revenue streams for farmers. 'New funding and sourcing models' represent a first-of-its-kind blended finance model combining funding from various sources, longer-term contract commitments from food businesses to source sustainable commodities, and crop insurance to help reduce the financial risks involved in farming operations. A plan to create new revenue streams for farmers titled the 'Ecosystem Services Market' proposes a way to create more revenue for farmers by allowing them to capture carbon credits during a field’s entire rotation, not just when it is in use. The task force suggests ten government policy changes which could help unlock $1.2 trillion that regenerative agriculture can add to the worldwide economy. Policy recommendations include financial advice and training support to farmers implementing regenerative farming, and those carrying out R&D; promoting regenerative farming terms in trade agreements; and creating incentives for landowners to encourage regenerative techniques by tenants. Grant Reid, former CEO of Mars, and chair of the Sustainable Markets Initiative’s agribusiness task force, said: "Taking farming back to its roots through regenerative practices isn't a choice; it's one of the only ways we can guarantee farming and global food supply chains can survive for generations to come “That’s why our plan, proving that regenerative farming could be economically viable, rewarding, and scalable, could be transformational to the world. But we need to prove it, which is why we’re eagerly putting into practice our theory by launching implementation projects across the world.”

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