€30 million portfolio to accelerate and scale regenerative agriculture

A coalition of food innovation organisations has launched the Regenerative Innovation Portfolio, which aims to leverage regenerative agriculture’s potential in Europe by demonstrating innovative pathways and scaling existing initiatives through new partnerships across agrifood value chains.

EIT Food - the world’s largest food innovation community - will deploy €15 million to support the Portfolio, to be matched against funding from corporate partners. EIT Food is supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union.

The Regenerative Innovation Portfolio, established as a Food Innovation Hub Europe Initiative, has been developed by a coalition of EIT Food and Foodvalley, supported by the Food Collective. The Portfolio takes a landscape-level approach, going beyond individual farms to consider collaborative approaches that span multiple sectors, working at a larger scale.

To date, the Regenerative Innovation Portfolio has already identified five potential priority landscapes throughout Europe where multiple stakeholders – such as regional governments, investors, and retailers – have mutual interests and complimentary sourcing needs. Within these landscapes, the Portfolio aims to foster greater collaboration across sectors and value chains to help farmers make the transition to regenerative agriculture practices.

EIT Food will match partner contributions of €5 million per year for three years building up to a potential total investment of €30 million. Additionally, some activities in the Portfolio may be designed to generate a return, which will be re-invested in the Portfolio. All funding will be used to launch and support Portfolio landscape initiatives, ecosystem development and inter-landscape learning in a community, as well as actively support initiative participants with applications for external funding, including government subsidies, public and private grants, and VC and angel investments.

Richard Zaltzman, Chief Executive Officer of EIT Food, said, “It is crucial that we establish a future-fit food system for all: a transition that can only be achieved by prioritising systemic, regenerative approaches to agriculture, in a way that keeps farmers front and centre and fosters collaboration between all stakeholders in the food chain.

“By matching funding from partners that invest in landscape level collaborations in the Regenerative Innovation Portfolio, EIT Food aims to enable a significant commitment to the regenerative transition within Europe.”

Marjolein Brasz, Chief Executive Officer of Foodvalley, said, “We have already seen significant efforts and initiatives from farmers and cooperatives in the shift to regenerative agriculture. The Regenerative Innovation Portfolio will be crucial in helping to practically scale and expand these approaches.

“By creating a collaborative community, the Regenerative Innovation Portfolio will generate and share learnings and experiences between landscapes which will help to foster more successful partnerships and innovation in the future and get all stakeholders in the landscape transition to play their role.”

Corporates that are involved in the Portfolio stand to derive several benefits from the Portfolio’s collaborative, landscape-based approach.

In practice, farmers do not supply to a single off-taker, but supply a range of commodities to numerous stakeholders, making close collaboration between off-takers essential to allow for the production of a broad range of regenerative crops and products at scale.

To this aim, the Portfolio brings off-takers together and fosters new types of innovative, cross-value chain sourcing models. Furthermore, by sharing costs, knowledge and experiences, the Portfolio allows corporates to benefit from complementary capabilities and resources.

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