THE OMNIPOTENT “E” IN “ESG”
Capital, Consumers & Corporations are driving sustainable and regenerative agriculture innovation.
PLANT-BASED. PLANT-BASED. PLANT-BASED.
We say this over and over… our technology harnesses the mustard plant’s natural defense mechanism to treat diseases, insect pests and weeds – which makes our biopesticide and bioherbicide technology organic and natural. This natural biological approach to crop protection underscores the “E” in ESG – Environmental, Social, and Governance. The dangers associated with synthetic chemical overuse is pushing farmers, consumers, the chemical industry and regulators to seek naturally-sourced biological products, which are known for safe, environmentally-sustainable and consumer-friendly profile characteristics.
It makes both logical and ecological sense to protect agriculture “plants” with plant-based inputs. Our technology can potentially be used as preplant soil treatment biopesticide and bioherbicide. This means application to the soil would occur before crops are planted – returning organic plant material to the soil through this preplant treatment process.
HEALTHY SOIL = HEALTHY PLANTS = HEALTHY PLANET
Agriculture is poised for a surge of sustainable innovation driven by climate change and adverse weather conditions. Innovative farmers are adopting techniques that are more productive, more resilient, and climate restoring. It’s no surprise that healthy soil produces more robust plants which capture and store more carbon.
The active ingredient in our mustard-based approach, Allyl Isothiocyanate (“AITC”), has shown a positive soil health and environmental impact. Soil micro-organisms play an important role in soil fertility and plant health, contributing to natural soil processes including the formation of organic matter and nutrient transformation. Human activities, including synthetic chemical pesticide use, can adversely impact the soil microbial diversity and structure. Our active ingredient AITC dissipates quickly in the soil, avoiding long-term toxicity to micro-organisms while increasing beneficial bacteria through promotion of a healthy soil microbiome.
The bottom line is this: We are simply returning organic plant material to the soil. And yes, more organic matter in our soil traps more carbon.
FOLLOW THE MONEY
In 2020, net capital flows into U.S. ESG funds smashed previous records, totaling US$51.8 billion (almost ten times 2018’s US$5.4 billion net capital flows). Leading agriculture chemicals companies are widely-expected to build portfolios of biological solutions through acquisitions once technologies are de-risked.
Some key players have already established VC programs to fund, partner or acquire early-stage technologies…
Bayer has earmarked over $5 billion for new weed-management strategies.
BASF has committed to targets for boosting sustainable agriculture.
Louis Dreyfus launched a VC program to transform food and agriculture.
FMC launched its venture arm to advance emerging Ag-Tech innovation, including biopesticides.
Syngenta has committed $2 billion and set new targets for innovation to tackle climate change.
Even TELUS has launched TELUS Agriculture to contribute to a better yield of food supply.
FEEDING THE WORLD
By 2050 there will be more than 9 billion people on this planet – 2 billion more people to feed. The combination of population growth and changing diet will require roughly double our current number of crops (National Geographic, 2020). The mainstream rise of organic food consumption, plant-based protein, pesticide-free produce and non-GMO products are not merely trends – these are transformational shifts in how food is grown and consumed. The development of safe and effective biologicals (to replace synthetic chemicals) will be critical for future food security and environmentally-sustainable agriculture.
The MustGrow team