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Merging Investment and Principles: The Future of Regenerative Agriculture

Regenerative agriculture is gaining momentum as a sustainable approach to farming that focuses on soil health, water management, and biodiversity. Two major players, Unilever and a venture created by Tikehau Capital, AXA, and Unilever, have recently made significant strides in this area. This article explores how these entities are merging investment and principles to accelerate the transition to regenerative agriculture.

Tikehau Capital, AXA, and Unilever: A €120 Million Investment

A regenerative agriculture transition venture formed by Tikehau Capital, AXA, and Unilever has invested €120 million in Biobest, a global company specializing in biological pest and disease control. This investment aims to support Biobest's acquisition of Biotrop, a Brazilian firm focused on biological solutions for crop nutrition and protection.

Laurent-David Charbit, co-head of Tikehau Capital’s private equity regenerative agriculture strategy, emphasized that the combined resources of the three companies would empower Biobest to expedite its global expansion and contribute significantly to sustainable agriculture.

Unilever's Regenerative Agriculture Principles

Unilever has also been active in implementing its Regenerative Agriculture Principles. These principles aim to work with farmers, suppliers, and partners to apply agricultural practices that regenerate and protect soil, ensure food security, and contribute to Unilever’s Net Zero pathway. Four projects were designed to implement these principles, addressing challenges like reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing biodiversity, and improving water efficiency.

Hanneke Faber, Nutrition President at Unilever, stated that regenerative agriculture is now a key investment area for Unilever’s €1 billion Climate & Nature Fund. She added that implementing regenerative agriculture principles is the best way to reduce food's impact on the planet while making crops more resilient to climate change.

The Synergy: Merging Investment and Principles

The investment by Tikehau Capital, AXA, and Unilever in Biobest aligns seamlessly with Unilever's principles of regenerative agriculture. Both initiatives aim to accelerate the transition to more sustainable agricultural practices, albeit through different means. While the investment focuses on biological solutions for pest and disease control, Unilever's principles are broader, encompassing soil health, water management, and biodiversity.

The initiatives by Tikehau Capital, AXA, Unilever, and Unilever itself demonstrate the increasing importance of regenerative agriculture in the global sustainability agenda. By merging substantial financial investment with well-defined principles, these entities are setting a precedent for how public and private sectors can collaborate to expedite the transition to sustainable agriculture. As more companies and investors align their strategies with regenerative principles, the sector is poised for significant transformation, benefiting both the planet and its inhabitants.


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