Brad Vanstone on why just being a vegan cheese company isn’t enough to have a big impact

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The guest of this episode is Brad Vanstone, founder of Willicroft, a plant-based cheese for dairy cheese lovers who is going deep into regenerative agriculture and soil.

LISTEN TO THE CONVERSATION ON:

Vegan Cheese Company with Mother Nature As Their CEO | Brad Vanstone

Simply vegan isn’t good enough! In this episode of Investing in Regenerative Agriculture, we dive into the world of vegan cheeses and alternative proteins with our special guest, Brad Vanstone, founder of Willicroft, a plant-based cheese company for dairy cheese lovers. 

Together we discuss Brad’s company’s story ― from how he lived an extremely sustainable life through producing vegan plant-based cheeses to how he found the need to look further into their supply chain and completely change all their recipes. With him, we answer the difficult questions about industrial dairy, its ingredients, and the supply chains/webs behind the plant based products.  

Importance of Carbon Tax for The Food Sector

Government involvement through carbon tax can be crucial for plant-based cheeses and alternative protein companies. It is fundamental to encourage everyone to look into the movements of sugar, alcohol, and cigarette tax to see the improvements these have had in increasing certain health components. For Brad a carbon tax on food is an attainable goal from an emission standpoint, seeing as this is at least on a trial basis in individual countries.

“Change is definitely coming. Carbon tax will dramatically change the price of food and encourage a lot of consumers to consider alternatives. I think the quality of the alternatives is currently getting a lot better and people are now raising a lot of questions about factory farming.” – Brad Vanstone

True Cost Accounting: Key for a Level Playing Field

The first move Brad would make if he was appointed CEO of one of the biggest area cooperatives in the world is true cost accounting and target for net positivity. He would love to see companies take a responsible stance and charge the right price for food and other products. Although this may inevitably lead to a loss in revenue, this move will not only resonate with consumers but also make regenerative farm dairy very possible. 

“True cost accounting will free the containers primarily propped up by subsidies. They’re able to offer the price points they can because of subsidies that are exporting all over the world. These are great prices that local markets can’t compete with because of the taxpayer money.” – Brad Vanstone

Striving to Create A Net Positive Impact

Equally important is working on the emissions of food since this is the biggest among the emitting sector to create a net positive impact. Brad is not seeing enough accountability and tractability with the current players in the market. Willicroft is striving to take a proactive stance in mapping and building a more responsible supply chain. 
There is still a lot of work that needs to be done, but the first phase of focusing on the products coming into the market holds a lot of excitement for Brad and his team.

“There has been a lot of reports and great stuff coming out of the US, in particular, with regards to regenerative dairy farming. It’s becoming very clear and possible that you can farm dairy in a regenerative way. So I think net positive impact would be one of the main things.”  – Brad Vanstone

Something to look forward to

Exciting things and big projects are coming for Willicroft like big campaigns and partnerships with plant-based food producers. He and his team are currently committing to writing impact reports within two years, publishing their emissions on the packaging, and a lot more. Their first campaign was the establishment of mother nature as Willicroft’s CEO. 

“Mother nature is doing an excellent job. She doesn’t talk to me, but she’s kept us going through this track right now. That’s for sure. We’re putting in quite a few requirements that a company needs to follow up on.  We’re also really trying to make improvements in our supply chain and offer two organic products that are coming out this year, which is really exciting.–  Brad Vanstone

Other Important Points Discussed

Koen and Brad discussed these points in this episode

  • What Brad would do if he were in charge of a $1 Billion investment portfolio tomorrow morning
  • What Brad thinks smart investors should look out for
  • What Brad would do if he had a magic wand that could change one thing overnight in the agriculture and food space
  • What Brad believes to be true about regenerative agriculture that others don’t

To know more about Brad Vanstone and how the plant based community can become a part of the regenerative transition, download and listen to this episode!

Bio:

Brad Vanstone, founder of Willicroft, a plant-based cheese company for dairy cheese lovers who is going deep into regenerative agriculture and soil.

LINKS:

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Feedback, comments, suggestions? Reach me via Twitter @KoenvanSeijen, in the comments below or through Get in Touch on this website.

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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.

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