Regenerative agriculture is generating investment

C&I Issue 3, 2024

Read time: 2 mins


Regenerative agriculture practices are showing promising returns, and investors are taking note.

Regenerative agriculture – a set of practices aiming to heal degraded soils and combat climate change, is attracting increasing interest from investors. A recent conference, Regenerative Agriculture: The Science, Economics and Practice, held at SCI headquarters in February, highlighted the potential of this approach to reshape both the environment and the business landscape.

Concerns about soil degradation and climate change are driving increased interest around regenerative agriculture. It focuses on practices like reduced tillage, cover cropping, and livestock integration to improve soil health.

The conference saw promising data from the European Conservation Agriculture project, demonstrating a 511% increase in soil cover under regenerative methods compared to conventional farming. Additionally, these practices can lead to reduced fuel and operational costs for farmers.

Recognising the potential, investors are stepping in. Simon Evill, a founding partner of Pelican Ag, the UK’s first venture capital firm focused on sustainable food systems, said that his company is ‘looking to make intelligent investments into the founders and innovators bringing our food system back to nature’. Restoring natural processes, Evill believes, can significantly impact climate change mitigation.

While regenerative practices may lead to lower initial yields, studies presented at the conference revealed that similar margins to conventional farming may be achievable due to reduced labour and machinery costs. Additionally, government grants can support farmers transitioning to these practices.

The conference also emphasised the need for clear standards and credible certification to address concerns about greenwashing. Louise Manning, a sustainability expert at the University of Lincoln, stressed the importance of moving beyond mere compliance towards genuine engagement and systemic change.

A full report on the conference will be available in the next edition of JSFA Reports.

Become an SCI Member to receive benefits and discounts

Join SCI