Better finance, better food: Investing in the new food and land use economy

Blended Finance Taskforce
Resource type:
Reports and discussion papers

”Better Finance, Better Food” showcases over 50 new business models and financial solutions which are mobilising capital for sustainable food and land use assets. Building on their work with the Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU), the report and case study catalogue demonstrate how finance can transform global food and land use systems to deliver more equitable and sustainable outcomes. The catalogue demonstrates a broad range of investable opportunities and confirms that innovative partnerships are needed to get capital flowing at scale.

Some key highlights from the report: 

  • There are major inefficiencies in the way food and land use systems are financed. Current practices typically fail to price in the hidden costs of climate-related financial, social and environmental risk.

  • Nature-positive and regenerative business models are crucial to tackling global warming, protecting species against extinction, creating jobs and building social and economic resilience to future shocks. But they are still in their infancy. The challenge is to get to scale.

  • Transitioning to a more sustainable food and land use system will therefore require capital to be reallocated from the “old” food and land use economy into the new one – with over $300bn new investment needed every year. The good news is that such investment could generate $4.5 trillion annually in new economic opportunities by 2030.

  • The report identifies seven business models and financing archetypes on how to attract and invest this type of capital to help tackle inefficiencies in the way we currently finance food and land use assets around the world – from blended finance funds to sustainability-linked debt, from nature-linked insurance to payments for ecosystem services, from shared services solutions and supply chain partnerships to pipeline accelerators which mitigate early stage development risk

  • Mobilising large-scale capital will require these business models and financing archetypes to get to scale. That means development capital providers, private investors, regulators and government need to strengthen partnerships to mainstream new financial products, standardise investment structures and rapidly accelerate pipeline development.

  • We need to stop reinventing the wheel. Describing the case studies in “Better Finance, Better Food” in transactional detail aims to help standardise investment structures and mainstream new financial solutions that are already delivering results. This will significantly reduce transaction costs, cut down the time it takes to access and deploy capital and help replicate what is working across different geographies and sectors. To get to scale and realise the $4.5 trillion economic opportunity, we need to stop reinventing the wheel.

A collection of case studies were published in addition to the report and can be found here: Better Finance Better Food: Case Study Catalogue. Both the case studies and the report provide a robust resource to better understand the many ways business models can be more conducive to improved food systems and land use. 

This resource presents evidence or data but has not been peer reviewed