While food and agriculture accounts for a relatively small proportion of AUM (9% excluding outliers), it is the most common sector for investment, with 57% of respondents having some allocation and the highest proportion of respondents (54%) planning to increase their allocations over the next five years – Global Impact Investor Network, 2020

According to the annual Global Impact Investor Network (GIIN) survey, connections to rural poverty, social justice and climate change has made food and agriculture one of the most common sectors for impact investors.

The survey indicated that over half the respondents plan to increase allocations to the agri-food sector over the next five years.

Amit Bouri, GIIN co-founder and CEO highlights that  “investors are looking for diversification in their efforts to mitigate climate change, they are elevating sustainable forestry and sustainable agriculture”.

Planned Sector Allocations Changes for the Next Five Years
Source: GIIN, 2020, Annual Impact Investor Survey

GIIN’s survey was released last month and collected data from 294 investors managing $404 billion of impact investments.

One of the key conclusions was that while food and agriculture account for just 9% of total assets under management, the sector is the most common target for the impact investors. 57% of those that took part in the survey reported having some allocation to food and ag and 54% suggested they planned to increase that allocation over the next five years. Food security and trade restrictions have hit the headlines in recent months during the Covid-19 pandemic as national governments globally have took a nationalistic stance when it comes to feeding their own populations, this level of activity is said to be encouraging interest from impact investors. 

The GIIN CEO indicated that the agri-food sector has been the most common sector among GIIN survey respondents for the past 5 years. There is a growing recognition that food and agriculture are key to efforts to mitigate climate change which is a driver behind investor interest in the sector.

Impact investors, according to Bouri, also pursue agriculture for its links to the employment of low-income populations alongside the potential for environmental impact, in both emerging and developed markets.

Secondly, social justice appears to be a key driver, whether it be addressing food security or labour practices with the agri-food sector aiming to create economic opportunities for the workforce.

Covid-19 as we know has exacerbated issues within the food supply chain from the agricultural end through to the retailing of food products. Covid-19 has also generated a stronger awareness around health and wellness and the benefits certain food groups can offer – Again offering another slant as to why the food and global agricultural sector is attracting attention from impact investors.    

Specialising in the agri-food sector with a key focus on emerging markets in the CEE/CIS and a track record of working for private equity, institutional and family office investors Brown & Co International are well placed to offer strategic investment advice and due diligence for considered impact investments.

For further information please see below contact details:

Adam Oliver (Partner) – a.oliver@brown-co.pl – +48 606 418 284
Charlie Fowler (Agri-Business Consultant)– c.fowler@brown-co.pl – +48 511 760 321