Investing for a healthy food and agriculture system

How to Invest in Sustainable and Regenerative Food and Agriculture

Opportunities to Benefit the Planet, People, and Animals

The global food and agriculture system shapes our world. How we produce, transport, acquire, and consume our food has a major impact on the planet as well as people and animals.

CapShift has developed an investment primer to help families invest for a more sustainable food and agriculture system. This primer provides a framework to help families assess their impact goals, a review of investable food and agriculture solutions, and our best thinking on incorporating food and agriculture investments into your efforts.

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The global food and agriculture system shapes our planet. Half of the Earth’s fully habitable area is used to raise crops and livestock and global food production accounts for about a third of total global greenhouse gas emissions.i,ii In addition to land and air, the industry impacts the water, agriculture is the leading source of freshwater withdrawals and aquaculture can leave harmful waste behind in the world’s oceans and endanger marine wildlife.iii,iv


Every person on this planet relies on our food and agriculture system and is directly impacted by the relative health of the system. More than a billion people worldwide are employed in the food and agriculture sector, disproportionally they are women, and poor pay persists across the industry.v,vi

2.3 billion people, nearly 30% of the world’s population, experienced some level of food insecurity in 2021.vii


Most of the world relies on animals and animal products as a key source of protein in their diets. In many nations, these animals are raised in factory farms, where the welfare of animals has been traded for access to inexpensive protein. Additionally, raising animals for protein has a significant environmental impact, contributing to emissions, pollution, deforestation, and more.

For families interested in food and agriculture – the opportunities to invest in change are highly intersectional. Here is a sample of food and agriculture investable solutions and how they may overlap with an investor’s impact goals:

Why now?

Investment gap

According to a 2021 World Bank report, reforming these systems to address wider social and environmental impacts will require between $300 and $400 billion in investment each year.viii

The need for catalytic capital

By accepting higher financial risks and/or lower returns, catalytic capital can help de-risk and bring innovative and regenerative technologies and practices into the mainstream.

Take action: Steps to build a sustainable food and agriculture portfolio

Set goals

Identify which focus areas (planet, people, and/or animals) are most important to you and what metrics you may use to measure success over time.

Develop your strategy

Identify what pools of capital will be invested, as well as your specific risk, return, and liquidity goals. This will help you determine the appropriate allocation for food and agriculture investments, as well as which roles these investments will play in your portfolio.

Take action to invest

Work with your financial advisor, philanthropic advisor, or donor advised fund provider, to build your pipeline of investment opportunities. You can work with these professionals or a specialist, such as CapShift, to conduct appropriate financial and impact diligence and make investments within your target range.

Create feedback loops

Evaluate the progress of your investments against your goals. Review reports on the financial health and impact results of your investments, understand how they contribute to the overall impact and return priorities for your portfolio, and adapt your strategy over time.

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There are myriad opportunities for families interested in food and agriculture to yield a positive impact with their investments. CapShift can help you build food systems portfolios that integrate with donor advised fund (DAF) providers, financial advisors, philanthropic consultants, family offices, and other institutions. Connect with us today to get started.

Endnotes and disclosures

i Our World in Data: Half of the world’s habitable land is used for agriculture
ii Nature Food: Global greenhouse gas emissions from animal-based foods are twice those of plant-based foods
iii PR Newswire: Agriculture Global Market Report
iv Marine Mammal Commission: Fisheries Interactions with Marine Mammals
v Rural Migration News, University of California Davis: FAO: Ag employs 27% of world’s workers, generates 4% of GDP
vi Citi: Food and Climate Change
vii World Health Organization: UN Report: Global hunger numbers rose to as many as 828 million in 2021
viii World Bank: Food Finance Architecture – Financing a Healthy, Equitable & Sustainable Food System

This report and included sample portfolio does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to purchase any security. Any such offer or solicitation would only be made pursuant to an offering memorandum or prospectus. All investments entail a high degree of risk and no assurance can be given that the investment objective will be achieved or that investors will receive a return of their capital. Any investment opportunities highlighted in this presentation are presented for illustrative purposes only. Opportunities may not be suitable for all investors due to differences in risk tolerance, investor status, and investment time horizons, amongst other factors. Additionally, investments may not achieve stated social, environmental, or similar objectives.

Advisory services are provided by CapShift Advisors LLC, an SEC registered investment advisor. Investments in securities are not FDIC insured, are not bank guaranteed and may lose value. Investing in securities involves risks, and there is always the potential of losing money when you invest in securities. Before investing, consider your investment objectives and CapShift Advisors LLC’s charges and expenses. CapShift Advisors LLC’s advisory services are designed to assist clients in achieving discrete financial goals. They are not intended to provide financial planning with respect to every aspect of a client’s financial situation, they do not incorporate investments that clients hold elsewhere, and they do not provide tax advice. Past performance does not guarantee future results, and the likelihood of investment outcomes are hypothetical in nature. Nothing in this presentation constitutes an offer, solicitation of an offer, or advice to buy or sell securities in jurisdictions where CapShift Advisors LLC is not registered.