According to a 2021 report, 73% of global respondents believe brands must act now for the good of society and the planet — 53% of respondents will go even further, saying they are willing to pay more for a brand that takes a stand. This survey is one among many others clearly indicating a strong shift in consumer sentiment: people want the companies they buy from to provide far greater transparency into their environmental impact.
Nowhere is this pressure more keenly felt than in agricultural supply chains. Food and fiber companies, and their suppliers, must respond to both changing consumer tastes, as well as significant regulatory and compliance challenges. Initiatives like the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) further increases the urgency to act.
Companies are responding by measuring, and then seeking to improve, their environmental performance, including their GHG emissions profile. In terms of carbon, this includes both insets- emissions captured and accounted for within their supply chain as part of the overall performance picture that consumers see- and offsets- formal quantification of carbon sequestered, usually in vegetation or in soil, that can be supplied in the form of tradable credits.
Agricultural supply chains offer the promise of providing massive carbon reductions to the global market for offsets. The Noble Research Institute estimates that the current potential demand for ecosystem market credits is $13.9 billion. McKinsey estimates that the market for carbon offset credits could be worth upward of $50 billion in 2030.
The single biggest impediment to scaling up participation in both insetting and offsetting opportunities is the ability to Measure, Report on, and Verify (MRV) the environmental performance of agricultural production. MRV is the biggest impediment because it is traditionally expensive and cumbersome to conduct - in other words, inherently non-scalable.
Our 7th investment, Regrow, solves this challenge by providing independent MRV services that are both rigorous and scalable. Rapid technological and scientific advances in remote sensing and computational modelling are creating the opportunity for Regrow to enter this emerging market and provide the scientifically credible and economically meaningful evidence to support the claims of positive environmental outcomes.
We invested in their US $17M Series A round. Notably the investment includes global agricultural powerhouse Cargill who will also form a key part of Regrow’s impressive go-to-market partnership program. Other customers that Regrow serves include industry leaders such as Ecosystem Service Market Consortium, The Nature Conservancy, and General Mills.
Regrow is a company with a strong lineage, formed by the merger of FluroSat and Dagan. FluroSat was founded in Australia by Anastasia Volkova and became a leader in crop modelling and sensing. Dagan, originating from the USA, grew to become a leader in soil and environmental modeling.
Regrow is ideally placed to become a leading provider of independent MRV services given their ability to combine approaches that come from both agronomic and environmental disciplines that are designed to work from field through to landscape scale.
At the center of Regrow's offering is the FluroSense crop management and analytics platform. FluroSense is used by farmers and their advisors to inform planting and growing decisions that will boost both sustainability and yield. The platform provides access to long-term, comprehensive data sets to help create crop and soil-specific recommendations that will ease the pathway for farmers to adopt regenerative and resilient agricultural practice change. FluroSense combines remotely sensed data, machine learning / statistical modeling, and biogeophysical modeling to create a unique set of analytics with a high degree of agronomic and scientific credibility.
Regrow seeks to unlock the power of resilient agriculture to combat climate change and grow agricultural produce profitability. They deliver the tools and the relationships that can enable this change, and have a team with a deep background and commitment to see this happen.
There is still a lot of uncertainty when it comes to the right way to scale up nature-based climate solutions. Agriculture is widely recognized for its potential to be a major provider of nature-based solutions (NBS), but these benefits can only be unlocked with the mainstream participation of farmers. The key to that mainstream participation is to make sure that the agronomic and environmental outcomes are aligned. Regrow, in combination with their growing list of major commercial partners, is uniquely positioned to provide products and services to ensure just that. As we have previously discussed, we see the strong supply chain alignment of Regrow’s partner network as a significant and powerful differentiator.
As farmers transition to new management practices, Regrow will help ensure that such transitions take place with a focus on agronomic productivity and also provide quantitative proof that those changes are delivering positive environmental outcomes — a win-win for everyone in the supply chain.