The future of food

February 6, 2020

It is clear that the existing globalized food industry is broken in many ways and incapable of feeding the world's population in line with our planetary boundaries. Growing population and rise in average prosperity drives up demand for meat and dairy products. 80% of the world’s farmland is used for animal agriculture and a third of the water consumption is used for it. This all causes major issues for our climate, our health and animal welfare. If cattle were their own nation, they would be the world’s third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases. This clearly has to be changed and various scenarios show how this could play out as discussed here and here. We need better options for a sustainable food system!

Ranking #4 on Project Drawdown's list (#3 being food waste btw), a plant-rich diet can have a significant positive impact on CO2 emissions. But it isn't easy to find investment vehicles in this category. With the help of Toniic, we have evaluated several funds in the space. As a result of our due diligence we are excited to announce that we have added Blue Horizon Ventures I fund to our portfolio. Their investment philosophy is to accelerate the transition towards a sustainable and efficient world of nutrition (compare Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy).

In this context broadly fall Ag-Tech (such as novel farming systems, farm robots, better supply chains, etc.) and Food-Tech (such as plant-based proteins, cell-based meat and synthetic biology) and an array of other areas(like food waste reduction and smart packaging). While plant-based meat products like Beyond Meat or Impossible Burger have been very successful and much hyped, cell-based meat is still further away from scalable market availability. But plant-based proteins are a growing field that has very interesting investment opportunities which are in the focus of the BHV fund. BHV offers nice infographics that give an overview of some facts. The fund portfolio is emerging, and we are looking forward to new additions.

Speaking of alternative proteins, we are monitoring the progress of Finnish company SolarFoods that literally creates protein from thin air. Intriguing.

Ralf Schroeder

Looking for ways to align my portfolio with my values and beliefs.