A new conversation for the series on New Foundation Farms with the CEO Marcus Link, author of “Farming Smarter”, about how farming using regenerative approaches is not enough and how New Foundation Farms is building a regenerative AgriFood enterprise on a thousand acres in the UK and raising 20 million to do so.
LISTEN TO THE CONVERSATION ON:
We dive deep into Marcus’ definition of regenerative enterprise, enough is enough, radical generosity, and nature as your coworker as well as the key to lock in the purpose of a company in an enterprise.
Mark Drewell, Executive Chair of New Foundation Farms, also joins us once again to share how investors are responding to the concept of a regenerative enterprise.
Recognizing The Need for Regenerative Enterprises
Regenerative farming is simply not enough nowadays: in order to achieve change, there should be the presence of regenerative enterprises. For this purpose, innovation at scale usually happens through the involvement of an enterprise for which finance has been enabled. This can also apply to the same principle of large-scale disruption of the way we live and communicate, and how the supply power is all changed through the presence of enterprises.
“A regenerative enterprise, just to connect this back to regenerative and my definition earlier of regenerative being the opposite of degenerative, what such an enterprise does when it is regenerative, it considers the ecosystems or systems it engages with.” – Marcus Link
Coexisting Ecology and Economy
Ecology and economy coexist in regenerative agriculture. Humans, since starting agriculture 13,00 years ago, have a flawed relationship with nature due to the dependency of requiring a return. Now, as we understand nature from a scientific perspective, there is the knowledge that this can be integrated into different layers, for profit and ecological health.
“I think that regenerative agriculture has, in its essence, a solution to offer here because it is focused both on the ecology and on profitable business at the same time.” – Marcus Link
Acknowledging that Soil is Economy
Marcus discusses how soil is an economy and the trading platform of ecology. A plant transforms solar energy through the carbon dioxide from air and water combined with sunlight, thus creating complex sugar compounds, which it then gives a part of out to the soil through its roots. This now establishes trading of nutrients in return for biologically available carbon.
“It is a huge leap and it also conceptually allows us to now connect to previously seemingly separate worlds of profit and purpose, or economy and ecology, in this grounded way, right in the soil.” – Marcus Link
Learning How Investors Respond to Regenerative Enterprise
Lastly, Mark Drewell joins the conversation, yet again, as he shares how investors responded to the concept of regenerative enterprise. He comments how investors should view regenerative enterprise, not as a short-term fair return, but rather a systematic change and fair return in value.
The biggest lesson New Foundation Farms has learned, through the positive and recognized responses of investors, is that people are consistently inspired by what they are setting to do.
“We learned that it is really important to make sure that the framing of the investment proposition is clear and easy for people to say yes to; within the constructs that they have for the choices that they make with their capital.” – Mark Drewell
Other Important Points Discussed
Koen and Marcus discussed these points in this episode
- What Marcus would do if he was given a magic wand that could change one thing overnight in the agriculture and food space
- What Marcus means when he says nature is their coworker
- What has surprised Marcus and Mark through their journey as well as in the past week
To know more about Marcus Link and New Foundation Farms, download and listen to this episode.
Marcus Link has worked across education, agriculture, and technology. He is at his best when he combines purpose and servant leadership in complex entrepreneurial projects that challenge the status quo and really make a difference to people and the planet. As the co-founding CEO of New Foundation Farms, he is bringing about regenerative agriculture at pace and scale in the UK. (Regenerative agriculture is the profitable production of nutrient-dense food and high-quality fibre in agroecological systems which leave behind regenerating soils.)
- New Foundation Farms
- Riverford Farm Box
- Ethan Soloviev’s Regenerative Agriculture Continuum
- Yuval Noah Harari
- Against the Grain, Book
- Gorden Conway
- Jigar Shah: Founder of SunEdison
- Human Potential Movement
- Agroecology is good business
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.