Building a Sustainable Future for People and the Planet: Plantations International’s Approach to Agriculture

Plantations International’s Triple Bottom Line: Sustainable Agriculture for the Environment, Climate, and People: At the heart of Plantations International is a very clear and principled code of conduct – one we expect all employees, contractors and management to live by every day. We operate under a genuine value system—our pledge—that demonstrates integrity, respect, ethical behavior, perspective and honesty as a foundation for everything we do. Plantations International aims to maintain the highest level of conservation and environmental protection of the eco-system, safeguarding and enriching areas of natural and indigenous forest to protect flora and fauna and promote bio-diversity.

As food prices are closely linked to inflationary trends, owners of agricultural assets and those exposed to farming businesses possess a hedge against inflation. This is one key diversification benefit of the asset class. Agriculture has been shown to have low correlation with many other asset classes such as equities and corporate debt, which dominate the investment market. This means that including agricultural in a portfolio can provide significant diversification benefits, resulting in an increase in portfolio return or reducing overall portfolio risk. Population driven food demand remains the core base of demand for agricultural commodities. The demand for food is relatively inelastic to income, making demand for agricultural commodities less subject to an economic slowdown.

Despite multiple definitions for food security there are common themes or indicators that tend to appear and underline its characterization. These include food affordability, food availability and accessibility, food quality and safety, and existing natural resources. The FAO and The Economist both measure food security on a country based on these indicators at varying degrees. Food security ought to be a priority for all countries, whether developing or developed. Although low levels of food security are commonly associated with poverty stricken countries they are also found in affluent developed countries as well. Food security rankings despite providing a decent gauge of performance are not without limitations. For example, some of wealthiest countries logically fare well in overall rankings as they have the capability and infrastructure to provide accessible, healthy food to their populations. Yet these high rankings dangerously mask their poor natural resources and resilience rank which measures food import dependency to a small degree. This raises the question, how can a country be food secure when they can be highly dependent on others for their food supply?

With offices, plantations, and representatives across Asia, Europe, and Africa, Plantations International is a multinational plantation and farm management company that specializes in providing sustainable agricultural and forestry or “agroforestry” management services for its clients. Plantations International has clients ranging from private individuals to large landholders and corporate investors. We put teamwork, innovation, and our passion for creating “Ethical & Sustainable Capital” at the heart of everything we do.

Caloric Requirements: Not only is world population growing, but its diet is changing too. As people become more affluent they start eating more food, thereby increasing the necessity for more supply. Food consumption, in terms of kcal/person per day has consistently risen throughout the world. It has increased from an average of 2,360 kcal/person per day in the mid-1960s to 2,900 currently. This growth has been accompanied by significant structural change. Diets have shifted towards more livestock products (meat and dairy), cereals (coarse grains, wheat and rice) and away from staples such as roots and tubers. Tubers include potatoes, sweet potatoes and yams. Roots include carrots and turnips. 30% of global food production is lost after harvest or wasted in shops, households and catering services. This loss represents USD 750 billion worth of food every year at producer prices. At retail prices the loss reaches USD 3 trillion annually.

Sea levels are expected to rise between 7 and 23 inches (18 and 59 centimeters) by the end of the century, and continued melting at the poles could add between 4 and 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters). Hurricanes and other storms are likely to become stronger. Species that depend on one another may become out of sync. For example, plants could bloom earlier than their pollinating insects become active. Floods and droughts will become more common. Rainfall in Ethiopia, where droughts are already common, could decline by 10 percent over the next 50 years. Less fresh water will be available. If the Quelccaya ice cap in Peru continues to melt at its current rate, it will be gone by 2100, leaving thousands of people who rely on it for drinking water and electricity without a source of either. Plantations International often use the term “climate change” instead of global warming. This is because as the Earth’s average temperature climbs, winds and ocean currents move heat around the globe in ways that can cool some areas, warm others, and change the amount of rain and snow falling. As a result, the climate changes differently in different areas.