Senior Associate Lauren Manning Shares Her Takeaways from the 2022 Regenerative Food System Investment Forum

Written by Lauren Manning

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

In October 2022, Lauren Manning was invited to speak on a panel at the Regenerative Food System Investment Forum discussing farmers’ perspectives on finance. The panelists shared a multitude of perspectives including a universal need for capital providers to help shoulder some of the financial risks of adopting regenerative agriculture.  

When asked about ag carbon credit markets, Lauren pointed out that while carbon is an important consideration, focusing solely on sequestration leaves out so many other critical components of repairing our food system. This includes biodiversity loss, water quality, revitalizing rural communities, and improving farmers’ quality of life.  

After the event, Lauren was asked to summarize her main takeaways in an opinion piece for AgFunderNews, where she worked as a journalist covering the intersection of venture capital and agrifood tech for six years. One of her main takeaways encourages the capital community to begin viewing themselves less as capital providers and more as capital partners. Current financing mechanisms often ask farmers to shoulder a substantial majority of the financial risk involved with adopting or scaling regenerative agriculture. This may look like capital partners being willing to accommodate factors like unpredictable weather, volatile economic conditions, or a lack of premium market access for regenerative producers.   

Lauren also encouraged the community to think carefully about how we define success in regenerative agriculture more broadly. A focus solely on scaling the movement could invite some missteps that befell conventional agriculture such as a yield-focused mentality without regard for the negative externalities that result.  

Read Lauren’s article here and share your thoughts: