Shayna Harris, Forbes
reNature cofounder Felipe Villela, meeting with cocoa producer DeMendes to discuss farm renovation through regenerative agroforestry. DeMendes is an Amazonian Chocolatier who makes chocolate from native cocoa in the Amazon, and is preserving the forests and providing income for indigenous and local communities.
Felipe Villela, the founder and Chief Commercial Officer of reNature and Forbes Under 30 honoree, is on a mission to prove the business case for regenerative agriculture.
reNature works with companies like Nestlé and Lush to develop scalable models for regenerative agroforestry in commodity supply chains. According to the USDA, agricultural commodity supply chains are one of the leading causes of global emissions that exacerbate climate change. reNature plays a matchmaker of sorts, supporting farmers in the transition to agroforestry models of production, and linking them to companies who are looking to green their supply chains. The company has raised $670k in Series Seed funding, led by Meraki Impact.
What is regenerative agroforestry?
Regenerative agroforestry models aim to sink carbon and reverse the adverse effects of climate change, while creating a more economically viable livelihood for farmers.
Villela explains, “Regenerative agroforestry is an agricultural system that is designed to ensure farmers with have food security, economic resilience and input self-sufficiency...On the economic side, it lowers external input costs, creates different income streams due to diversification and may, in some cases, even increase yields.”
Given the extreme impacts of climate change on our food system, this is a critical proposition. Over half of the land used worldwide for agriculture is on moderately or severely degraded soil, according to a report by the Economics of Land Degradation Initiative. In monetary terms, this is equivalent to a loss of $10.6 trillion USD per year.
Read the full Forbes article here