Global consumer brands company Unilever, insurance company AXA, and alternative asset manager Tikehau Capital announced plans to launch a new private equity impact fund, focused on the regenerative agriculture transition, addressing key environmental and social issues including climate change, biodiversity, water preservation, and sustainable food sourcing and supply.
Each of the partners aims to invest €100 million in the new fund, which will also be open to other investors, with a target size of €1 billion.
Pascal Christory, AXA Group Chief Investment Officer, and Antoine Denoix, CEO of AXA’s climate-focused insurance business AXA Climate, said:
“Regenerative agriculture is a major ESG theme. This fund therefore aligns perfectly with our strategy of decarbonising the real economy through impact investments.”
Agriculture, land use and deforestation are major contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss. The aim of the fund will be to promote regenerative agricultural practices, focusing on core areas including protecting soil health to enhance biodiversity, preserve water resource and help fight climate change, supplying regenerative ingredients to meet the needs of a growing global population, and unlocking technological solutions to accelerate the transition to regenerative agriculture.
Eric Soubeiran, VP Climate & Nature Fund, Unilever, added:
“Eventually, we would expect projects to include accelerating the transition of regenerative surfactants, scaling low carbon dairy and plant-based acceleration. We look forward to working with partners on this new regenerative agriculture finance mechanism.”
The fund will be managed by Tikehau, which currently has almost €2 billion of assets under management focused on climate action.
Pierre Abadie, Group Climate Director at Tikehau Capital, said:
“We believe that reducing agriculture’s impact on the environment is vital to combating climate change and ensuring there is a healthy and sustainable food supply chain for all. This reduction in impact must be a collective effort that takes place on a large scale. Through the launch of this fund, our goal is to pool resources, skills, and expertise to support the technological innovations and the changes of practices that are required to improve both soil and human health.”