A check in interview with another co-founder of Trailhead Capital Tripp Wall. Hear from Tripp how provenance is key to transparency in the food system. We also discuss how time kills food, the regenerative soil amendments that are off ramps from extractive agriculture and, finally, how we need to be able to go long on investments.
LISTEN TO THE CONVERSATION ON:
What is the role of Trailhead in regeneration? Is there any movement in the consumer demands? What are amendments and why is there a need for them? What is provenance and why does it matter? How does time kill food?
The Supply Chain Deconstruction
We are in need of supply chain deconstruction where the value of supply could ultimately go to two entities- to the stewards of the land (farmers) and to the accessibility of high-quality food for all. The food supply human health is interconnected with soil. Hence, in order to improve the planet’s human health, we should start with soil. If grocery chains can start getting supplies from vertical, regenerative farms, the people as well as the environment can be healthier and the farmers could earn their wages.
“We really want to champion those folks, men and women, who stay on the land and steward the land with the right methodologies.” – Tripp Wall
How Provenance Equates Transparency
Time kills food—the more processed the food is, the less quality it has. This is why Trailhead puts high prominence in provenance. Our food system (the active compounds, phytonutrients, minerals, etc.) should be more transparent to consumers. They believe that people should be asking more about the origins of the food they put on their tables. More than anything, people should have more options for goods with higher nutrient density.
“I wanted to give consumers more choice with good stuff and allow them to understand the nutrient density and then the provenance of where this stuff came from.” – Tripp Wall
The Wonders of Amendments
In a good environment, plants can pretty much take care of themselves. They don’t need any synthetic chemicals or even the organic ones. However, to push the process into a “perfect spot” that would provide the best results, we recur to amendments. To spearhead the most successful amendments, Trailhead partners with scientists (Rodale Institute, Dr. Doug Cameron, etc.) and tech investors (Seth Levine, etc,) in the industry.
“Coming from this large extractive, chemical-based agricultural system, we believe that there are some off ramps, and we think of these amendments as off ramps to get to the perfect spot.” – Tripp Wall
The Metabolic Genomic Piece
We know so little about small molecules in soil. With this, Trailhead is currently exploring “metabolic genomics”, a crop protection derived from signalling molecules in the soil biome. It’s still in the process of discovery and Trailhead works with academic institutions to develop metabolic genomics further. Metabolic genomics may be a promising breakthrough as it expects to reduce farming costs by 5 times, but produce the same outcomes.
“It’s very cost effective and uses basically the same hardware infrastructure that you’re using now. It’s very compatible for the steward.” – Tripp Wall
Other Points Discussed:
Koen and Tripp also talked about:
- how we should focus more on any water forms;
- how transparency in the food system validates premium pricing;
- how liquidity can be a disservice to the investor;
- how investors need to think through their real liquidity needs and go long with them; and
- how we should focus on regenerative aquaculture as well.
To know more about Tripp Wall and Trailhead Capital, download and listen to this episode.
- Trailhead Capital
- The Omega Principle: Seafood and the Quest for a Long Life and a Healthier Planet by Paul Greenberg
- Patagonia Artifishal Video
- Mark Lewis, hunting for unicorns in regenerative agriculture and food
- White Leaf, a biodynamic baby food startup
- Benjamin Ware on how Nestlé, doing $93 billion a year in sales, is getting serious about regeneration
- Elizabeth Whitlow on how to change the ag world with the gold standard of regen certification
- Dan Kittredge on why our biggest lever against climate change is paying for food quality
- Dan Kittredge – Making farmers focus on nutrient dense food
- Dan Barber, Great flavour, health benefits and healthy ecosystems can only come from healthy soils not a lab
- John Kempf, what would he do with a 1 billion dollar investment fund?
- John Kempf – Forget about soil, Focus on plant health instead
- Frank Wooten on how virtual fencing unlocks the potential of carbon positive grazing at scale
- Ethan Soloviev on the enormous lack of regenerative ingredients for food companies and what to do about it
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.