The Future of Food in Asia and its Impact on People and Planet
Proterra Investment Partners
At first glance, food might not be the most obvious way to make an environmental and social impact but consider that agriculture is the process of converting natural resources into food. In the First Agricultural Revolution (c. 10,000 BC), human civilization transitioned from foragers – nomadic hunter-gatherers that roamed the land in search of food – to farmers – permanent settlers that practiced agriculture for food. Estimates place the global population then at c. 2 million people,1 equivalent to the current population of Houston or Brisbane. Today, there are 7.8 billion people on Earth and forecasts predict incremental population growth of 1 billion people by 2030.2 The food and agriculture industry is responsible for over one-quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions.3
Food is central to our existence and represents an unparalleled opportunity to improve our environment and the lives of some of the most impoverished people in the world. We believe that investors who are looking to make a positive impact with their capital should look to the food and agriculture sector, particularly in Asia.
1 PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, History Database of the Global Environment.
2 United Nations, World Population Prospects (2019).
3 Poore and Nemecek, Reducing food’s environmental impacts through producers and consumers (2018).
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