Mark Lewis, hunting for unicorns in regenerative agriculture and food

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Mark Lewis, managing partner at Trailhead Capital, joins us to talk about promising companies that promote regenerative agriculture. Tune in to learn more about their regenerative practices and how they impact climate change.

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Where are we in this regenerative transition? How far are we gearing towards non-conventional and sustainable farming methodologies? Who are the “unicorns” or Elon Musks of regenerative food and agriculture?

How Industry Giants Promote Regenerative Practices 

We’re past the awareness stage as huge food and agriculture companies already understand their accountability and social responsibility towards regenerative agriculture. JBS, General Mills, and Cargill are some industry giants that work with Trailhead Capital to initiate regenerative practices. However, Trailhead Capital also has funding opportunities for competitive standalone companies. 

“I think there are opportunities for food and agriculture companies to become hundreds of billions of dollars valuation in a relatively short time frame.” – Mark Lewis

Trailhead Capital’s Strategy: Three Investment Verticals 

Trailhead Capital strategically follows three investment verticals: on farm, post-farm, and consumers. They keep an eye on companies that are committed to sustainability and to fight against one of the world’s biggest crises—climate change. The first three companies they invested in are Vence, a company that promotes electric fencing in farming, TeleSense, a company that uses artificial intelligence to reduce food waste between harvesting and processing, and HowGood, a company that specialises on food ingredients’ transparency and traceability. 

“We’re methodically trying to invest across the entire supply chain of food and agriculture, because our hope and our intention is to build an ecosystem of portfolio companies that actually benefit one another.” – Mark Lewis 

How Consumers’ Preferences and Mindset Evolved

Among the three investment verticals, the only one Trailhead Capitals hasn’t touched yet is the consumer side of things. White Leaf Provisions, a company that communicates the benefits of regenerative practices to consumers, is a brand that’s been getting attention from consumers because of its highly organic products, especially for babies. This is attributed to the pristine soils they get their ingredients from. 

“The enlightened consumer moving forward will pay more and more attention to make sure there’s no lead, cadmium and arsenic in their baby food, or any of their food.” – Mark Lewis 

Start Walking Away from Traditional Methods

It is important to understand how soil functions, so we can move away from conventional ways of farming. Analogous to what Tesla did, Mark also encourages replacing synthetic nitrogen fertilizers with something else as it causes serious harm to our natural resources. He mentioned the names Pivot Bio, Cooler Bio, and Nitro City as some companies that have exciting potentials to help address this issue. 

“We’re hoping we can place capital with entrepreneurs and companies that are creating the lithium-ion battery equivalent of what’s next, how else could we fix nitrogen and have plants thrive without all the negatives externalities.” – Mark Lewis 

Other Important Points Discussed:

Koen and Mark also talked about:

  • incentivising farmers rather than bad behaviours;
  • putting an end to subsidising externalities if he had a magic wand; 
  • investing 10 billion dollars in changing policies and recruiting a dream team that would get rid of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer and many other nature-related concerns; 
  • Mark’s beliefs about nature and regenerative agriculture that most people don’t know. 

To know more about Mark Lewis and Trailhead Capital, download and listen to this episode. 

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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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