FOA 216: Investing in a More Distributed Food System

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What does a more distributed regionalized or even localized food system look like at scale? How can producers capture more of the value of that type of food system? What is the right type of investor to help fuel that sort of system?

Stephen Hohenrieder spent his early career in capital markets and has an agricultural background. Stephen now works for family offices. These are investment entities that invest on behalf of a single-family. In this episode, we talk about investing in regenerative agriculture, what a distributed food system looks like and how the family office investor can be a great fit for making these ambitions a reality. Stephen began by combining different food source experiences in Hawaii to support his regenerative agriculture goals through investment.

“The goal was to develop a perspective on each of these different areas of food and then use my background in investing to deploy capital in ways that would support a regenerative food system that I hope to be a part of.” - Stephen Hohenrieder

The investment profile of a family office and the amount of risk they are willing to undertake varies between each family office. His mission is to “figure out how we could steward the vision of that operation into the future and bring in aligned capital that had a very long term perspective.”

“As I explored this thesis for how I believe our food system is evolving and really increasingly being redefined by fragmentation after a period of consolidation and centralization, I have focused on four pillars that are really authenticity, connection, traceability and transparency.” - Stephen Hohenrieder

In many of Stephen’s investments he looks to not only add value to the food chain process but also the farm itself. Stephen believes people are “reconnecting with the source of their food” leading to a consumer driven cultural shift for producers. Consumers are now more interested in connecting with a set of values than a third party certification and producers are needing to communicate these inherent values to gain consumer loyalty.

This Week on The Future of Agriculture Podcast:

  • Meet Stephen Hohenrieder, an investor supporting regenerative agriculture
  • Explore how he views the cultural shifts in the supply chain
  • Learn about where he sees the future of the agriculture industry heading

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