For the next several years, rePlant will invest up to $20m to support Danone North America’s farmer partners with expenses related to converting to regenerative or organic farming practices. These practices increase biodiversity, enhance ecosystems and enrich soil, as part of the company and its partners’ broader commitments to addressing climate change.
In 2018, Danone North America committed to investing $6m in soil health research over five years. By gaining a better understanding of the variables and nuances across growing regions, the research will enable Danone North America to better guide its farmer partners with regards to farm management and use of regenerative agriculture practices on their farms.
Mariano Lozano, CEO of Danone North America, said, “As a company that is passionate about climate activism, we are pleased to be partnering with rePlant to support our farmers and bring new, innovative financial solutions to address climate change.
“Providing these loans mitigates the financial stress that transitioning to regenerative and organic farming practices places on our farmers and allows them to focus their energy on driving sustainable agriculture on their farms.”
The first loan has been provided to Kansas-based McCarty Family Farms, a partner of Danone North America for almost 10 years and co-owner of MVP Dairy, LLC.
Owners and dairy farmers Mike, Clay, David and Ken McCarty will use the loan to install moisture probes on cropland surrounding their dairy, where water access issues are of concern, to reduce the amount of water used on crops that provide forage for the dairy cows.
In addition to reducing water usage on its own farm, McCarty Family Farms is working with its local feed partnerships as well as the local watershed authority to see how this program may be expanded to other farms in the region to improve water consumption and aquifer longevity within the Ogallala aquifer.
One of the first funds of its kind, rePlant brings together a range of impact investors and family foundations to tackle some of the greatest challenges created by climate change.
“At rePlant, we are dedicated to investing integrated capital into food companies operating from soil to shelf in order to reverse the effects of climate change,” said Robyn O’Brien, co-founder, director of partnerships at rePlant Capital.
“When we look at the work Danone North America and its network of farmers are already doing in the area of regenerative agriculture, it is clear they share our commitment to improving soil health. We are very excited to work together to make conversions to regenerative and organic farming practices more accessible for Danone North America’s farmer partners and drive sustainability across American farms.”