Friday, September 16, 2011

Mercer's Strategic Asset Allocation Report Available from Agriculture 2.0

Our year-round online community is currently sharing ideas and educating themselves on new strategies and hot-button issues surrounding global water and agriculture investments. Ag 2.0 followers have access to the #AgChat podcast series, as well as special speaker-driven content from reports and white papers and more.

This valuable content provides a preview of what you will experience at the Agriculture 2.0 Global Investments conference and the Water 2.0 Investment Summit in Toronto, November 7-9.

The Climate Change Report
 Mercer, together with 14 leading institutional investors and industry thought leaders around the world, has been working for over a year on this market-leading research into the implications of climate change for markets and investors.

Click here to download The Climate Change Report: The Impact of Climate Change on Strategic Asset Allocation 

Elisabeth Bourqui, Mercer’s Head of Responsible Investments for Canada, will be a speaker at the Agriculture 2.0 Global Investments Conference in Toronto.

AgConnect networking platform 

We are constantly building the preeminent group of investors, industry executives, policy makers, innovators, expert analysts and forward-thinkers with an interest in scarcity-driven investment opportunities including sustainable agriculture and water. Next week we will launch the first-ever AgConnect networking platform that will allow confirmed attendees of the conferences to schedule meetings onsite, exchange contact information and ideas, and more.

For a full list of speakers and confirmed attendees, visit our websites at and

For more information, DOWNLOAD THE AGENDA 

Save up to $300 – CLICK HERE to register before October 10! 

* If you are interested in more visibility or sharing your perspective as a speaker, please contact Terri Sobol at +1-646-895-7473 or

 We look forward to seeing you in November!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Back to School (& Back to Work) Special: Final Week to Save Up to $400 on Ag & Water 2.0!

Now that summer is coming to a close and harvest season is upon us, we want to make sure that your fall calendar includes a couple of important events. The Agriculture 2.0 Global Investments Conference and Water 2.0 Investment Summit will take place November 7-9 in Toronto, and this is the final week to take advantage of a savings of up to $400.

 By booking the three full days of 2.0, you can:
 • Vet investment opportunities in global farmland and commodities, agribusiness and agrifood, water equities and infrastructure, and jury-selected proprietary technologies.*
 • Strengthen your knowledge on ag strategy, water rights, technology adoption, mechanization, risk management, socially responsible investments, foreign investment protection and regulation, ESG reporting, and more.
 • Network with the major players in global agriculture and water investing with speaker-hosted roundtable discussions, cocktail receptions, regional wine tasting, lengthy breaks and luncheons

Water and Ag can also be booked separately.

Click here to register now

100+ Investors, Fund Managers, Agribusiness Executives, and International Game-Changers Already in Attendance, Including: 

 • Fred Luckey, EVP Responsible for Sustainability and Innovation, Bunge North America
 • Usha Rao-Monari, Global Head of Water, Global Infrastructure and Natural Resources, International Finance Corporation
 • Amol Deshpande, Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
 • Garth Hodges, Global Head of M&A, Bayer CropScience
 • Elisabeth Bourqui, Head of Responsible Investments for Canada, Mercer
 • Jigar Shah, CEO, Carbon War Room • Mary Law, Investment Officer, Wake Forest University Endowment
 • Biff Ourso, Director of Global Private Markets, TIAA-CREF
 • Steve Yuzpe, CFO, Sprott Resources Corp.
 • Larry Ruud, CEO, One Earth Farms
 • Jim Taylor, Partner, Avrio Ventures
 • Susan Payne, CEO, Emergent Asset Management
 • John O’Neill, Director, Investment Trade Policy, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
 • David Henderson, Managing Director, XPV Capital
 • Jack Levy, Partner, Israel Cleantech Ventures • Evan Lovell, Partner, Virgin Green Fund • Klaus Deininger, Lead Economist, Development Economics Group, The World Bank
 • Mikhail Orlov, President, The Ambika Group

Click here to download the full agenda and conference program

Visit our websites at and for the most up-to-date list of speakers.

Kate Westfall, our Conference Director for the 2.0 Conference Series is now on Twitter. You can follow her @agrikate!

 Get Involved: 

 Ag & Water 2.0 Venture Fairs: 
There are limited spots remaining in the venture fairs at Ag and Water 2.0! Click here to apply for the opportunity to present your business or proprietary technology to the most targeted group of like-minded investors and industry executives assembled in one room.

Speaking Opportunities: There are also limited speaking opportunities available. If you are interested in sharing your perspective or gaining more exposure at Ag 2.0 Global Investments or the Water 2.0 Summit, please contact Terri Sobol: +1-646-895-7473,

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Agricultural “Sustainability”: Buzzword or Metric for Investment?

AG Chat Interview Cleaves Fact From Fad in Sustainable Ag

By Marc Dresner

Question: Which one of these things is not like the other ones?

A. This summer, PepsiCo published its first sustainable agriculture brochure and subsequently announced plans for an initiative along similar lines.

BUT PepsiCo Director of Sustainable Development Dan Bena was quoted thus: “Comparatively, the environmental part is going to be easy to solve because there the technology exists to improve farming practices… The economic aspect will also be relatively easy because we already have examples of improvements we’ve made there. But the most difficult part will be tackling the social element, because there we will probably have to supersede what’s technically available locally.” (Source: eMoney Daily)

B. The USDA recently announced that in 2012 it will award grants to “farmers and ranchers with innovative ideas for improving operations through sustainable agriculture practices.” (Source: Drovers CattleNetwork)

C. Last week, former McDonald’s subsidiary Chipotle Mexican Grill in partnership with country music legend Willie Nelson released an animated short in support of sustainable agriculture suggestively titled “Back to the Start”—with Nelson covering Coldplay’s “The Scientist”—promoting free-range, “natural and organic” products. (33,000-plus views as of this post.)

Answer: D. All of the above...and....none of the above?

How is it possible that a trend the likes of sustainability, which has preoccupied climatologists, ecologists, biologists and evironmentalists, captured corporate imagination and venture capital attention, corralled the interests of regulators and politicians, alike, and attained international popular support in the hearts and even the wallets of average people, could still be subject to such a wide range of interpretation?

Clearly the concept of sustainability, while highly fashionable, isn’t as simple as it seems; it’s rife with misunderstanding and vulnerable to the whims of misguided good intention and ignorance as much as it is to profiteers and environmental poachers. (In cases, they are one and the same.)

In this edition of AG Chat, independent consultant, scientist and agribusiness expert Steve Savage dispels some common misconceptions with regard to sustainability and discusses the importance of removing uncertainty from the equation by quantifying sustainability. Getting the metrics right will be key!

Listen to this episode of Ag Chat here.

Download a transcript of our interview here.

Editor’s note: Steve Savage will be speaking on The Surprising Barriers to Agricultural Sustainability at the 2.0 Global Investments Conference taking place in Toronto, Canada, November 7-8, 2011.

For more information or to register, please visit

Ag Chat is an executive interview series featuring the business experts, investors and entrepreneurs at the forefront of sustainable agriculture. Each episode explores the trends, technologies and drivers shaping the world of sustainable agriculture today.

Marc Dresner works closely with IBC Life Sciences as a communication lead with a background in trade journalism and marketing. He is the former executive editor of Research Business Report, a confidential newsletter for the marketing research industry. He may be reached at Follow him @mdrezz.