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Mateusz Ciasnocha and Maria Virginia Solis Wahnish – From EU Soil Mission to Pope Francis, how to change local and state agriculture and food policies

A conversation with Maria Virginia Solis Wahnish and Mateusz Ciasnocha, both involved with the Farm of Francesco. Maria Virginia is founder of Drink Matera, while Mateusz is CEO of the European Carbon Farmers, and member of the EU Soil Mission board. We discuss why it is so important to connect with policymakers and how to actually do that, the importance of farmer education and a very detailed answer to the 1 billion euro question to enable many more people to get involved in farming. And what has Pope Francis to do with all of this?

Emiliano Mroue – Raising $7.5 million to scale from working with 20.000 to 100.000 farmers

A conversation with Emiliano Mroue, founder of WARC, about their recent funding round, being close to the farmers and why he left a corporate job in Germany to start a farmer focussed anti poverty company in Sierra Leone which turned into a company serving today over 20.000 farmers, mostly in Ghana, in the transition to more regenerative practices. What is their secret to be close to the farmers always, not quite often but always?

Smallholder maize farmers at the edge of the Sahara, brutal circumstances in the Sahel mean most farmers are growing to eat and to survive and, with climate change and current farming practices burn and deep tilling, their survival is literally on the line. These soils can be depleted in a decade or less, not like in the global North where we might have 50 to 60 harvests left. So how do you go about behaviour change with farmers that are in poverty, you want to help them to change, but don’t want to risk their fragile livelihood? How do you find the recipes that work in the local context?

In March 2024, the Ghana-based agricultural service provider Warc Africa has successfully closed its Series B round, securing $7.5 million. The fresh capital raised aims to boost Warc Africa’s reach to serve over 100,000 farmers in Ghana, increase their incomes, and protect the soils.

Sonja Stuchtey – Have billions flow into regeneration by having accountants agreeing that it is an investment, not a cost

A conversation with Sonja Stuchtey, co-founder of The Landbanking Group, about innovative financial strategies, accountancy standards and rules, reliable sourcing, better quality and lower prices, investing in the value chain and more.

Let’s say you are an orange juice or chocolate bar producer: your margins are under pressure because the costs of buying raw ingredients have exploded the last few years. What do you do? In any other business you would likely invest in your supply to secure reliable sourcing, better quality and potentially lower prices. Why haven’t we done that in regen (with some exceptions of fully vertically integrated brands)? Now it seems possible for companies to invest in their value chain so to allow orange farmers to make regen changes in the practises to future proof them. 

How? Crucially it comes back to treat it as a long term investment and not as a short term cost which will hurt you margins and, thus, annoy your shareholders. Treating investments (which btw we need billions) in regen as an investment and not a cost sounds so trivial and simple, but it takes a whole lot of technology to measure, report and a lot of talks with the big four accountancy firms to get this done.

Why these 21 Funds with $3.75B AUM could transform agriculture

After interviewing 300 people for the podcast series Investing in Regenerative Agriculture, we noticed many people are setting up investment funds to rebuild soil. The question comes: Could these funds really transform agriculture?

Matteo Mazzola – Walking the land of Iside Farm with a regenerative farmer

This is a special episode, the first one ever of the Walking the Land with a Regenerative Farmer, where we walk the land of the farm with a farmer while we talk about regeneration. 

Walking through Iside Farm on the Iseo Lake in Italy, with regenerative farmer Matteo Mazzola, we unlock the secrets of regenerative agriculture as we traverse the innovative landscapes crafted by Matteo, Paola and the Iside crew. We embark on a profound exploration of sustainable farming, showcasing Matteo’s expertise in farm design, water systems, and the integration of olive trees and animals into the land. Learn how access ways are more than just paths across a farm; they’re a vital component in the flow of energy and resources, helping to prevent erosion with concrete strips and alfalfa, and offering additional crop space. Matteo’s wisdom extends to the creative reuse of shipping containers, illustrating a commitment to terraforming that marries functionality with environmental stewardship.

Adrien Pelletier – Why all farmers or most farmers need to become seed breeders again

A conversation with Adrien Pelletier, farmer, breeder, and baker, about wheat, seeds, no till organic farming, why all farmers or most farmers need to become seed breeders again, and why it is really difficult to bake sourdough with traditional organic wheat seeds that are not breed for high productive farms.

Why Adrien want to start changing the world in the most difficult place, at home, which is a large industrial, mostly extractive, commodity wheat-growing region in France? Picture a sea of wheat, large relatively flat fields and no trees. He argues we are in the prehistoric area of organic farming, and there is so much to discover, especially around population wheats. We also learn about no till organic farming is the way to go (and super difficult).

Chris Bloomfield and Daniel Reisman – We need animals outside to feed the planet sustainably

A conversation with Chris Bloomfield and Daniel Reisman, co-founders of Collie, a provider of virtual cow guidance system for managing production in grazing, about enabling regenerative dairy, how virtually fencing and cow guidance drastically reduce labour and boost production. To feed ourselves and the planet sustainably, we need to include animals as part of agriculture. We dive deep into going from vegan to grazing, animal welfare, and the state of our planet. How do we enable more farmers to hold complexity on their farms? How do we use technology to enable complexity instead of using technology to make everything mono, as we have done in the last 50 years?

Clint Brauer – After an investment of Chipotle, ready to scale his robots to weed hundreds of thousands of acres

A check-in interview with Clint Brauer, founder and CEO of Greenfield, company powering chemical-free agriculture with advanced AI-powered robots, about his dream to get chemicals and expensive machinery out of broad acre, row crop farming (AKA soy corn farming which currently occupies millions of acres around the world, especially in large industrialised agriculture countries), the ending of the era of the chemicals, and much more.

After interviewing Clint in September 2020, we check in on what has changed; farmers and many others in the space see that the era of chemicals is ending. It might not look like that yet, but we have already won: chemical-free, broad-acre farming is totally possible; now it is about execution. What else has changed? Is Clint still interested in integrating animals, and why has Chipotle invested in the company?

Alfred Grand – Why an Austrian farmer and researcher trained by earthworms is very excited about AI

A conversation with Alfred Grand, farmer at Grand Farm, an organic farm with a high proportion of research, about vermicompost and seed inoculation, but also what policymakers should know about farming. Plus, the role of technology in the regenerative transition. And why he is so excited about AI and robotics.
Dive deep in the story of a bike mechanic turned farmer and researcher, who has been trained by millions earthworms!

Sebastiaan Huisman – Farmers die slowly

A conversation with Sebastiaan Huisman, large-scale organic farmer and advisor, about consulting on many large farm transitions, including the British royal family and working with Wildfarmed. Why is he so optimistic about biodynamic, holistic, and regenerative farming, and why does it all start with children?

Picking apples on an biodynamic farm at age 12 led to setting up one of the largest biodynamic farms in Europe, almost 2000 hectares in Poland, on very very poor soil, Sebastian had an incredible journey from that Dutch farm to the creation of one of Europe’s largest biodynamic farms. As he shares his story, we’ll uncover the transformative impact of regenerative agriculture, not just on the soil but also on the very heart of the community.