June/July 2018

Investing in Sustainable Agriculture

(above): Joseph Jaramillo is an Isleta Pueblo farmer participating in the New Mexico Landrace (Heirloom) Corn Project. In 2017, NMLCP distributed 1200 lbs. of the pueblo’s blue corn seed to regional farmers following organic protocols. Read the full story

Welcome to our annual Sustainable Agriculture Issue. Given the importance of this globally vital topic, we’ve made this a double issue. I am always learning from our writers and in this issue I learned that 70 percent of water use in many parts of the U.S. is by the Agriculture sector. Do let us know what you learn as you dig into this issue on Food, Farming and Finance.

Speaking of water, our March issue on “The Future of Water" is still accessible here. As GreenMoney wraps up its 25th Anniversary Year, founder Cliff Feigenbaum gives a wide-ranging interview on The Wealth Confidant Podcast with its host John Christianson, of Highland Private Wealth Mgmt.

 
- Cliff Feigenbaum, founder, GreenMoney Journal
 

 

 

50 Farms and No Regrets

Teresa Opheim
Senior VP, Iroquois Valley Farms
Iroquois Valley Farms has reached a milestone: This spring we added the 50th farm to our portfolio. Our farmland REIT provides secure land tenure for 35 farm families working 9,000 acres of farmland. More families will be joining us soon. We have seen strong and steady growth in the value of our investment portfolio since 2007. We recently launched a new offering to raise $20 million to help fund more farmers. We also offer Soil Restoration Notes to investors, with a portion of the returns going to help our farmers transitioning to organic.
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The Best is Yet to Come

Harn Soper
CEO, Sustainable Farm Partners (SFP)
Farming, like investments, carries some degree of risk. How SFP mitigates these risks is unique and key to the opportunity. Market demand for organic food is the fastest growing segment in grocery stores. Geographically, our established operating network of farms is spread out to minimize the impact of local weather. Our distributed farm network is focused on areas with the best available soil and linking that network allows us to negotiate better offtake agreements and discounts on inputs. In the event of any crop damage due to weather, which diminishes yields, we have crop insurance.
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Frey Vineyards – Out of the Ashes

Katrina Frey
CEO, Frey Vineyards, Ltd.
The story begins with a strange orange glow in the sky that awakened me at one AM on the morning of Oct 9th, 2017. Stepping outside into a howling wind, I watched in horror as a huge wildfire burned on the distant ridge. The wind was blowing away from us, so I was very concerned about our neighbors below the ridge in Potter Valley, never dreaming that at the same time the Redwood Complex Fire was racing around the bottom of the ridge and heading straight to Frey Vineyards and engulfing the only paved road out.
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Developing the New Mexico Landrace (Heirloom) Corn Project

Tim Vos
Field Coordinator & Agroecologist, NMLCP
On February 2016 The New York Times ran a story, "Oaxaca’s Native Maize Embraced by Top Chefs in US and Europe", highlighting the work of a new company called Masienda that was sourcing landrace (heirloom) corn from small farms in Mexico. Masienda’s business model emphasizes conservation of agrobiodiversity, while supporting smallholders using sustainable/organic farming methods. When some of us here in Santa Fe saw this article we asked the question, "Why can’t this be happening in New Mexico as well?" And so the New Mexico Landrace Corn Project was born.
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Engage the Chain: An Investor Guide to Engaging the Food Sector on Sustainability Risks

Brooke Barton
Senior Director, Ceres
The challenge is clear for global food and beverage companies: as the population rises, the agriculture sector they rely on will need to produce more food with fewer greenhouse gas emissions while shifting toward farm practices that conserve or restore diminishing water and soil resources. Sustainable sourcing strategies and supply chain transparency are essential for the food and beverage industry to ensure that their suppliers are making these critical changes. As significant owners of and lenders to companies, investors can be a major force in driving more sustainable practices. Read More

June/July 2018 Additional Articles

Maturing U.S. Organic Sector Sees Steady Sales Growth of 6.4 Percent in 2017 to Nearly $50 Billion

American consumers in 2017 filled more of their grocery carts with organic, buying everything from organic produce and organic ice cream to organic fresh juices and organic dried beans, according to the Organic Trade Association's 2018 Organic Industry Survey released in mid-May. Read More

Understanding Food and Climate Change: A Systems Perspective from the Center for Ecoliteracy

Understanding Food and Climate Change: A Systems Perspective explores the links between food systems and our changing climate with an emphasis on systems thinking. A systems approach helps to illuminate how seemingly disconnected phenomena are often dynamically linked and can be understood best when viewed in a larger context. Read More

Investors Accelerate Toward 100% Impact – New Report from Toniic

New report from Toniic provides evidence that investors are going farther, faster and deeper into impact, while meeting their targeted financial and impact returns. 100% impact portfolios are getting easier to build, the pioneers behind them are accelerating their shift to deeper impact, and investors are meeting their goals for both financial and impact returns, reveals a new Toniic Institute report released in late May 2018. Read More

Gender Pay Scorecard: Failing Grades for Facebook, Goldman Sachs and Walmart; Top Marks for Apple, Nike and Wells Fargo

Published to coincide with International Equal Pay Day in April 2018, the first edition of a new annual scorecard ranking 33 of the world’s largest financial, technology, and retail companies on their current gender pay disclosures, performance, and commitments shows Apple, Nike, Starbucks, Wells Fargo and JP Morgan with the highest grade (A-), while Facebook, Goldman Sachs and Walmart are among 11 companies that share the lowest grade (F). Read More

Corporate Responsibility (CR) magazine’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens List for 2018

Corporate Responsibility Magazine (CR Magazine) announced in early May its 19th annual 100 Best Corporate Citizens list, recognizing the standout environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance of public companies across the United States. Read More

Celebrating its 35th Anniversary, Stonyfield Organic Takes its Good-For-The-Planet Mission to New Pastures

Marking its 35th anniversary, Stonyfield Organic, the country’s leading organic yogurt maker, announced in April 2018 a bold commitment that not only celebrates the brand’s organic leadership role in the food space, but also casts an eye to a different and equally as large issue facing families. While huge strides have been made in the organic food space over the past 35 years, less is happening around environmental and health issues specific to the use of pesticides beyond food. Read More

2018 Green Transition Scoreboard Finds $9.3 Trillion in Green Sectors Worldwide

Ethical Markets released in late April its 2018 Green Transition Scoreboard® finding $9.3 trillion of private investments in green sectors worldwide, cumulatively since 2007. Read More

2018 Financial Advisor Roadmap: Incorporating Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing into Your Practice

The US SIF Foundation recently released a guide for financial advisors on how to incorporate sustainable, responsible and impact investing into their practice. The Financial Advisor Roadmap was prepared with insights from financial advisors and other industry professionals. Read More

GreenMoney Recommends

Slow Money founder Woody Tasch addresses economics, food, and politics in his newest book, SOIL: Notes Towards the Theory and Practice of Nurture Capital. He explains nurture capital as a vision of finance that begins where investing and philanthropy end, “giving us a new way to reconnect to one another and places where we live, all the way down to local food systems and the soil.” Weaving poetry, prose and photography into a compelling vision, Tasch aims to answer the question: How can we fix what’s broken in our economy and our country through the entry point of local food systems? Order the book.

 
 

 
 
 
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