Rufo Quintavalle, the impact investor poet of regenerative agriculture

How to take the plunge when wanting to invest in regenerative agriculture with Rufo Quintavalle, impact investor and poet. He shared his journey into investing in regenerative agriculture and gave a lot of tips on how to start investing in regenerative agriculture and take the plunge!


Instead of Silicon Valleys “Move fast and break things, we need move slowly and build things”

Rufo’s tips:

  • Don’t be too hasty but don’t be too slow either, set aside a bit of money you can afford to potentially lose and put it to work. 
  • Get yourself educated and learn, but don’t waste the time of entrepreneurs and fund managers, don’t set up endless calls if you have no interest in investing. 
  • Think about where in the value chain you want to invest, the land itself, the processing. Think about the geographies. 
  • Think about water, many places have inadequate water supply, so make sure you take that risk into account.

We live in quite a dematerialised world and we can end up quite disconnected from the raw materials which make our lives possible.

Two main investment barriers:
– ticket sizes are high, you need a lot of money to start
– time horizon, your investment is tight up for a long time

We discussed the reason why Rufo is investing in a mix forest project in Brazil: to find the commercial drivers to turn people towards reforestation.

He also bought a piece of degraded land in Brazil, to focus on replanting. This fits in a broader ambition to show it is commercially possible to restore.

Market correction:
Rufo sees a big market correction coming if we get serious about sustainability, because almost all companies on the stock exchange are build on fossil fuels. How do we as impact investors anticipate on that correction?

Rufo’s investment thesis:
Why Rufo is investing in the two geographies he did (Brazil and New Zealand) 
When we go back to a more natural level of growth, ie what can the planet produce in one year and we consume less than the planet process in one year. You as an investor probably want to be in the parts of the planet which have high level natural growth. NZ has okay national growth, Brazil has amazing national growth.

Alternative proteins:
Rufo is extremely interested in fruits and vegetables with high protein content as replacements for animal protein. 
There are 4000 thousands fruits in the Amazon, and we don’t know what half of them do.

And he is a bit worried about some high tech meat replacements. Clean meat. Because if the IP ends up being owned by a few wealthy people, we maybe create more negative social consequences than we create positive one.

Some links mentioned in the conversation:
REITS in the US for real estate and sometimes farmland. 

The EPL of Kering

(Note after we recorded this interview, Kering decided to sell Puma)

Photo credit: Renaud Monfourny

For feedback, ideas, suggestions please contact us through Twitter @KoenvanSeijen, in the comments below or through Get in Touch on this website.

Join the Investing in Regenerative Agriculture and Food newsletter on

The above references an opinion and is for information and educational purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.

Join the Community

1 comment on “Rufo Quintavalle, the impact investor poet of regenerative agriculture

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *