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Sustainable agriculture: the economics of healthy soil

Where is modern industrial agriculture taking us? How can farmers respond? And what does all this mean for the financial performance of companies operating in the food and agricultural sector?

In this episode of Amplified, Eoin Murray, Head of Investment, is joined by Andrew Voysey, responsible for strategy and business development at Soil Capital1, and Louise Dudley, Portfolio Manager with Hermes Global Equities, as they explore the economics of healthy soil.

“Our modern industrial approach to agriculture – which is heavily mechanised, involves turning the soil regularly and involves a chemical-led approach to fertility – is fundamentally degenerative in terms of its impact on the soil,” says Voysey. 

This has profound consequences – including those related to human health and the environment. “There are now increasingly serious concerns about the links between the toxicity of our natural environment as a result of agrochemical use and various human diseases, including cancers. There are significant concerns about the nutritional value and density of the food that we’re producing and consuming today. And environmentally, agriculture is a significant part of the climate problem and a significant driver of biodiversity loss,” adds Voysey.

Dudley explains that Hermes Global Equities uses a number of tools to assess environmental impacts, such as carbon, water and waste: “we have a score – called the QESG Score – which we use to assess how companies are performing on these issues and also how they are changing. We also have a company tool that we use called the ESG Dashboard, which brings in a more qualitative lens to that information.”

To find out more, tune in to Amplified.

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  1. 1Soil Capital partners with farmers, organisations and investors to scale regenerative agriculture.

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