Investing in Regenerative Agriculture and Food

280 Heather Terry - Monocrops exists because big companies came along and pushed farmers into it

January 30, 2024 Koen van Seijen
Investing in Regenerative Agriculture and Food
280 Heather Terry - Monocrops exists because big companies came along and pushed farmers into it
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

A conversation with Heather Terry, CEO and founder of GoodSam, about how an exit from a chocolate company led to a female-led consumer goods company, how education of consumers is key, networks vs. chains, multi-crop buying, and much more.

Every CEO and high-ranking manager working in food companies should be obligated to visit the farms and farmers they source from. So many decisions in the board rooms would be taken differently. With Heather we dig into a story of a company about how an exit in a chocolate company led to a female led consumer good company focussing on chocolate, coffee, nuts and dried fruits. Preferably sourced from the same farmers paying them 2 to 3 times as much, marketed and sold throughout the US in Whole Foods and online and only being 2 years old. How is that possible? and why according to Heather is this the only way forward?

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Speaker 1:

Every CEO and high ranking manager working in a food company should be obliged to visit farms and farmers they source from. So many decisions in the boardroom would be taken differently Today. A story of a company about how an exit in a chocolate company led to a female-led consumer good company focused on chocolate, coffee, nuts and dried foods, preferably sourced from the same farmers, paying them 2-3 times as much. How is it possible and why, according to our guest today, it's the only way forward. We tackle why education of consumers is key Hint. They care at the moment more about small farms than about regeneration. What are networks versus change and how to go about multi-crop buying. And why every CEO of a food company should dig in compost. Enjoy.

Speaker 1:

This is the Investing in Regenerative Agriculture and Food podcast investing as if the planet mattered, where we talk to the pioneers in the regenerative food and agriculture space to learn more on how to put our money to work to regenerate soil, people, local communities and ecosystems, while making an appropriate and fair return. Why my focus on soil and regeneration? Because so many of the pressing issues we face today have their roots in how we treat our land NRC, grower, food, what we eat, where and consume and it's time that we as investors big and small and consumers, start paying much more attention to the dirt slash soil underneath our feet. To make it easy for fans to support our work, we launched our membership community and so many of you have joined us as a member. Thank you. If our work created value for you and if you have the means and only if you have the means consider joining us.

Speaker 1:

Find out more on comroadcom slash investing in Regenag that is, comroadcom slash investing in Regenag, or find the link below Welcome to another episode today with the CEO and founder of Good Sam and Joy Food. That's good for you, good for the farmers and good for the planet. Welcome, heather.

Speaker 2:

Thanks for having me.

Speaker 1:

And to start with a personal question that we like to ask everybody how did you, from all the different career paths that could have happened and that maybe have happened in the past as well, but how did you end up focusing most of your, let's say, awake time on soil?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so it's it's. I guess it's an interesting path. It's a funny path. So I'm American, obviously, and my mom actually comes from Poland and I come from a long line of farmers in Poland, interestingly enough. But my mother came from Poland swearing that her children would never be farmers, so joke was kind of on her. I'm not a farmer, but I work with a lot of farmers.

Speaker 2:

What I decided to do as a career path in my 20s was I was actually a professional actress in New York City, so I appeared on a lot of television shows and commercials and stage plays and all all types of things for a very long period of time seven years and then the housing crisis happened here in the United States and I really liked to cook. I was helping some of my actor friends learn how to cook, because the economy was taking a turn and my cooking classes got very popular. At the end of those cooking classes, I was making chocolate. I was creating little chocolates and packaging them for my friends and people kept saying to me these are really good, you should think about doing this. And I was. Ignorance is bliss. I never knew how hard it was to start a consumer goods company, but that's what I originally did, and I started a company in 2008 called Nipmore Chocolate that got sold to private equity in 2015. It still exists today on the market and, for all intents and purposes, this has been fairly successful for a brand that was started almost 15 years ago. I left there in 2015 and I went on to work with a lot of female founders. I was really helping them put their financial picture and order. How do you raise capital? Women are traditionally majorly underfunded, especially here in the United States. I think it's still only like 2% of all VC investments in the US are made to female founders, so I was helping women really structure that part of their business so that they could have better odds of raising money.

Speaker 2:

I ended up at the partnership at Beyond Brands in New York City. Beyond Brands was founded by Eric Chanel and Marcy Zaroff, who are old industry veterans. They've spearheaded dozens of brands in the US, so I ended up there as a consultant and I had the opportunity to work with an entrepreneur and a few people who had an idea about going down to Columbia and seeing what was down there. Columbia is the second most biodiverse country in the world, only second behind Brazil, and Brazil is 10 times larger. So when I got to Columbia, I actually took Jeremiah McElwee with me from Thrive Market, who has spent a tremendous amount of time in his career in the field, and we realized that we had virtually untouched regenerative systems with smallholder farmers and indigenous communities and we thought, wow, that's interesting and could Thrive Market potentially look at something like this and think it's an interesting opportunity, which they did.

Speaker 2:

So Beyond Brands and Thrive Market got behind us conceptually to create really what was the supply chain play in Columbia to begin, and then we expanded very, very rapidly around Latin America into Chile, bolivia, peru, now in Central America, Mexico, we do some work in Africa and Kenya, burkina Faso, ghana, and we also work in Northern California for walnuts. And so the premise of Good Sam started to become around having these regenerative systems remote, virtually untouched regenerative systems that we could preserve, protect and grow, and then working directly with farmers. So the elimination of middlemen, the elimination of brokers who were taking chunks of money out of the system so that we could actually pay farmers more fairly and more money. So farmers in the Good Sam system make two to three times more than they do in a traditional brokerage system around the world.

Speaker 2:

And that was how we brought the products to market. We decided that we would focus completely on commodities and that commodities required very little education for the consumer. But we also knew we had an uphill battle with something like regenerative, which the consumer in the United States in particular does not understand. And so if you understand a macadamia nut and you understand the virtues of organic and then you layer on something called regenerative, how could we?

Speaker 2:

really think about yeah, how can you really make it about the regenerative conversation and not talking about a macadamia nut? So that was really how we started to approach the conversation and educate the consumer around what we're doing.

Speaker 1:

And what was the trigger in that journey? Was it that trip to Colombia? Because you could have stayed and not staying, as in that's a bad place to be, but in the female investment space, maybe raise a fund or two and start really pushing on that side and maybe found somebody at some point that they would also explore this journey or this direction. But the exposure you probably have been in cacao farms before or at least indirectly, like the exposure to what regenerative could be or what these kind of systems could do. Do you remember I'm not saying it was a light bulb moment, but the moment that it hits you what the potential could be of agriculture and food? Or was it always there and you were reading books and things like that?

Speaker 2:

Well, yeah, I mean there's a lot of self education, especially in the natural products industry in the US, but I also did a course at the University of Oregon where it was a permaculture course, so that was interesting for me to just learn about permaculture and learn about the symbiosis of plants and how you make those things really work.

Speaker 2:

It was in 2021. So during my tenure at Good Sam but I had spent time on farms my entire career. So I had been on many cocoa farms when I had nibb more, I had been on coconut sugar farms. We were trying very actively in that business to get to the supply. And what bothered me about it? We worked with brokers on my first company and you only see what people want you to see in that transaction and we always had farmers pulling aside and being like, yeah, what you see is not what you get. We're not getting as much of the capital, we're not getting the resources that we need. We're not really happy with the way the system works. But for me and my business partner at Nibbmore at the time, we were two female entrepreneurs, two of the only American female entrepreneurs in the field.

Speaker 2:

In that time, tech 2010. There were not I mean, there still isn't that many women traveling the world in these supply, as we call them at Good Sam Supply Networks. It was just like, well, what could we do? And we had so many layers of people in between us and the farm. But it nodded me my whole career. It was like something's got to be done about this. This isn't right, like something's not working.

Speaker 2:

And the more I understood about the broker system as it relates to farms and the aggregation of crops and how, you know, brokers and middlemen will really push the price down to the farmer. They sometimes, and in many instances, really wait till the farmer is desperate to offload that crop. That, just for me, was a really difficult thing to digest, right. It was like how are we doing this? We're actually threatening the entire system.

Speaker 2:

Then, I think, in the regenerative piece, you know looking, you know, when I got into farms in Columbia, they were unlike farms I had ever seen in my whole life. I mean, they were in the most, some of the most remote corners of the world. And so, you know, the idea of a till or chemicals or any of that existing in that place is almost impossible. It's almost impossible to physically get to these places, right. So the notion that any of those types of things could exist in those ecosystems is sort of absurd, right. But when you see how the ecosystem is created and how there really is that symbiosis, there really is that coexistence of plants and what the soil looks like there versus what the soil looks like, you know, and what about quality.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, in the monocrop, you know, in like southern Illinois in the United States, it is like night and day, right, like you're just looking at it. You can you can physically look at it, right, smell it. You can look at it and smell it and understand that you are not dealing with two things that are created equal, right. So for me, I think, in understanding that that was going to become more and more important, you know, understanding that we only have so many harvest left as it relates to monocrops, all of those things started just become like, well, what if we could create a business that was good for the planet, because that's our base?

Speaker 2:

Without planetary health, we have nothing good for the farmers, the people who we actually need to be able to create these systems, manage these systems and produce from these systems, and we also could take care of the consumer and could make sure that the consumer could get this at a relatively fair price. You know, what if we created a company that could do that? And that was really for me, the moment, the aha moment, right, that, that moment of oh, maybe we could do that. And let's run the numbers on that and see if it's possible.

Speaker 1:

And there's so much to unpack there. But I wanted to step, take one step back and on the quality and taste piece. On the trip to Colombia, did you also taste things from these kind of systems and if so, was it very different from what you experienced? Saying your your previous Like, did you notice it flavor and taste difference? Or is that too tricky with cacao and others, because it has to be processed?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think even in an organic system, things taste different and we always know that when we have better soil outcomes, better management outcomes, right, we're not spraying a ton of chemicals on something that we're going to get better taste. I mean, a consumer can even go on a baseline, organic level in the United States and buy an organic tomato versus a conventional tomato and most people are not going to argue that they do taste fundamentally different. Right, like there is something different happening here, you know. And then when we, when we really work in these, these really rich soil systems, there are definitely nuances in these products, everything from cocoa to coffee, to fruits, to nuts. Right, Like, our macadamia nut does really really well because it is exceptional and it has grown in an exceptional system and because of that, I think consumers really respond to the taste of that product.

Speaker 2:

Right, it is the highest quality macadamia nut you can get on the market. Pretty much, I challenge anybody to to tell me that there's one that's better than ours, because it really is that special. But I think you know, yes, there are nuances in that. Is there any proof of that right now? You know actual proof of that? No, we know the market is a little bit behind on those things. So, as time, can you know, as time continues to go on, as people start to gravitate toward brands like Good Sam for Taste, you know we're going to prove that out, but right now, you know, I think there's a huge difference. But I travel the world and, you know, sit on farms all the time where I'm tasting food and I'm always blown away by the quality and the taste of it, because they're really taking care of what they have.

Speaker 1:

And then going back to that moment where you thought and then sat down to to do those numbers, like how did that look like? Because I think many people would be amazing. But I think an easy question comes up Is that even possible? And then for a company to survive, Because if you take out all the minimum, it sounds great. But you need something to process, to package, to brand, to get it to a whole foods, and all of those things cost, unfortunately, a lot of money. So there's, there's a rule for some middle processes, let's say, not necessarily men and not necessarily very expensive. So when you sit down to do those numbers, that first spreadsheet, were you very skeptical. After that Were you very like, oh, this is potentially possible. And because a lot of this money anyway, like, like gets stuck in the system somewhere, like did you see possibilities after this first?

Speaker 2:

It's a great question Because you know I mean, look, grocery retail, especially in the United States, is a very expensive proposition in general, right?

Speaker 1:

It's an expensive game.

Speaker 2:

And margins are already really, really crappy and you know, especially in the early days it can be very, very challenging.

Speaker 1:

I think we were really lucky, so that helps. Yeah, you were new to this space, 20 year old, setting up, yeah exactly, exactly.

Speaker 2:

But I think, you know, having a partner like Thrive Market who basically said, like we're going to partner with you guys, we're going to get behind this, we're going to take some volume.

Speaker 1:

Just a side step for people outside of the US. What is, what is Thrive Market? Just for people to grasp what they are, thrive Market is an online.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, they're an online natural products retailer here in the United States. They're the largest B Corp certified grocery retailer in the United States.

Speaker 1:

And so for somebody to say, ok, this, we need this on our virtual shelves. But on our massive virtual shelves and they run mostly on a membership basis, which is like Costco and others. But so they're sort of on the side of the consumer and the brand because they run on a membership model compared to other, let's say, distributors. So they were already quite a relatively significant size and if they get behind you, of course that can help because they can steer quite easily on their virtual shelves what they want the consumer to buy or to see.

Speaker 2:

Exactly, and I think you know, having the power of a retailer like that behind your early efforts is huge, right, I was very lucky in that I'm well-networked in the industry. I know a lot of people. We are all industry veterans. On the team there's a lot of people who have deep experience in the industry and so it was easier for us to see, to have that visibility and to understand where the landmines were in the American market, right. So we knew what we were walking into and we knew where the pitfalls were going to be and where the money, the money holes, were going to be and all of that. And I think you know, oftentimes I meet young entrepreneurs or I meet startups and I'm like look, you know, it would behoove you to do something like an accelerator program or an incubator program, because you could get annihilated in this industry I mean cash that seems like it's so much money goes like that if you don't know what you're doing and if you don't understand where those landmines really are.

Speaker 2:

Right, I think in our case we were, like I said again, lucky that we have Thrive Market behind us. It was during the pandemic years. We, you know, were able to really leverage a lot of the demand from the Thrive Market customer in order to build products that we knew would succeed on their platform, and that was really where we stayed in 21 and 22. We went into retail in the United States in late 2022. And what we started to do there was really just examine our margins and examine what our hero products were and figuring out, you know, how can we configure that system that is very heavily reliant on distributors. And then, you know, give the margins of retail in the United States in order to meet the demand of the customer but also keep our margins intact here.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, because you don't want to have the most amazing tasting macadamia. I mean you want that, but then at 10x the price of the nearest organic competitor next to it.

Speaker 2:

Because maybe one person will buy it a day, but that's yeah.

Speaker 2:

Exactly, and I think you know that's one of the biggest issues I think that the regenerative movement is having right now is that, you know, because costing on the regenerative certification side oftentimes is at the detriment of a farmer. Where they have to make meaningful upgrades in equipment or processes or what they're putting on their soil or how they're managing their soil, they need an auditor to come in that they have to pay for, they have to actually pay for the certification. You know it's not, it's a very under resourced part of the industry right now. So it's like, as excited as we all are about regeneration, as excited we all are about making these meaningful moves into sustainability, we also have to think about the financial constraints and the resource constraints around this.

Speaker 2:

It's the reason, right, that Good Sam really goes into existing systems that we can build on right. We don't have to reinvent the wheel. We don't have to. You know we're not in the business of like reinventing a monocrop in the United States for a really specific reason. We want to find those existing systems, grow, preserve, protect them in order to prove that this model can work right, and that way it inspires other farmers to say, oh okay, I'm going to take a step in this direction, a step in that direction, because I know that if I take care of the soil, I'm going to get better outcomes, I'm going to have longevity and I'm going to be able to sell in the future to companies like a Good Sam.

Speaker 1:

And have you seen that effect in like the places you work or you source from? You very specifically mentioned value networks, not value chains, so we're going to get to that, but have you seen that effect as the growth piece or the protect piece of where you source from Maybe people coming back, young people, because what we hear often, especially in cacao and coffee, that there's no future and most of the young people have left or are leaving you hear that in many other agriculture sectors as well, but specifically there, and that we might be running out of cacao trees and cacao farmers in the next 10 to 15 years. And so have you seen a sort of counter movement? There isn't that too early like since you have.

Speaker 2:

Oh, we have you know. So it's funny, I think, like when we walk on to a farm or we walk into an association or a cooperative, you know, we start talking to them and we start planning for the future, and often it's met with a lot of skepticism. Especially in the early years they were like, who are these people?

Speaker 1:

How many people have they seen that promise the same thing? Yeah?

Speaker 2:

Are they ever going to show up again Like what's going on Right, like they don't know? And then I think, as we've purchased and we've kept our word, of course you know there's the core group of people who say, yeah, we're going to play with Good Sam, we're going to do this, we'll see if it works, we'll see if it doesn't work. They're pleasantly surprised when it does work. And then you know other parts of the association being invited in to be like, oh God, it's working, let's do it, let's get in there, let's support, let's put our crop into that system, let's support that company and let's sell to that company. We have seen major growth in our network as a result of that.

Speaker 2:

As far as the young producers are concerned it's interesting that you should bring this up we're launching our young producers coffee called New Day coming up this April. It's really centered around farmers from the age of 18 to 35 and really highlighting their capability as farmers. As a company, one of the things that we are really trying to stress and also to support are these young farmers who want to continue to farm, who want to continue to build the legacy of their families and their communities. We intend to continue with that program around young producers, not just in coffee, but then in cocoa, in nuts, in fruits, as we continue to grow as a company.

Speaker 1:

What do you mean? Because you mentioned let's bring in another crop or let's also bring in this crop. What about the multi-cropping? Diverse agroforestry systems are probably the most productive places on earth in terms of biomass, biodiversity, potential revenue, etc. But they also produce a lot of diversity, because that's why diverse. How do you deal with that as a company and not just buying the one academia product or the one cash crop and then leave, as then Barbara likes to say. What is it? The rotation risotto, like you have to buy the full spectrum.

Speaker 2:

Otherwise I would say that I would have to find where he calls it. We need a version of it.

Speaker 1:

It's in the third plate, the book he wrote, which is fascinating, but it's not about agroforestry. But we need similar approaches in agroforestry, buying the full landscape Otherwise, because otherwise we have made amazing strides in this one ingredient and it's super regenerative, maybe even certified, and it's very expensive and all of that. But then we leave the other 15 things off the table and that's a challenge for a farmer.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think Blue Hill and Dan Barber are doing some really amazing things around cover crops and producing, taking cover crops into systems where we can think about cover crops actually as food, cover crops and rotational crops as food. I want to just give that shout out to them because I think they're thinking they're asking the right questions. We often at Good Sam Talk about there's asking the wrong questions and they're asking the right questions. The right questions tend to leave us a little stunned where we go. Oh shoot, I hadn't really considered that this is a bigger thing than I actually thought it was.

Speaker 2:

But as far as the crop mix so our cocoa and our coffee grow together, our macadamias and our mangoes grow together Good Sam takes all the commercially viable crop off of a farm. We don't leave anything that is commercially viable on the farm, which means a lot of our farmers have a year-round stream of income from us now because we are actively seeking to take everything that they produce and also not to force them into a monocrop system. Monocrops exist because big companies came along to farmers and said please farm this one thing, we'll take all of it and we'll take it in this amount. That's essentially. Monocrops were created because of demand, right?

Speaker 2:

So if we change the way we demand from farmers and saying, okay, you're growing a macadamia, but you also have mangoes here and you also have avocados and you also have coffee, could I buy all of that, could I buy the majority of it? What can I do here? Can I buy some of all of this that changes the way farmers farm? Because then they say, okay, great like I don't have to rely just on macadamias because they're going to come and buy my mangoes and they're going to come and buy my avocados and they're going to come buy my coffee as well, so I can continue to really foster this regenerative agroforestry system, right, this biodiverse system, and I can take care of the soil, I can create a livelihood and I don't have to depend on one crop to do it. That is a business shift, that is not a farm shift and a processing nightmare potentially for you Farmers want to do this.

Speaker 2:

They don't want to destroy their land, but they also have to live right, and so we have to as business leaders. If we believe in regenerative, we have to think about other things we can do or other partners we can bring in right.

Speaker 2:

So like again some people will listen to me and say well, heather, I couldn't possibly do that. I am just a chocolate company, great. But you're a chocolate company that goes to trade shows and you may be no coffee buyers, you may be no pineapple buyers you may. You know people, right. So who can you bring in to that system to purchase the other crops that your farmers are producing?

Speaker 2:

Not everybody can be a good Sam, right? Not everybody can be a good Sam and say we're going to play in four categories. We're going to go along on regeneration. This is our ethos, this is our story, this is why we do what we do. But you are a person who knows people and so you can really start to help construct those ecosystems for your farmers by bringing other players to the table. So there is another way to look at everything, and I encourage everybody out there listening, if you are on the buying end, if you're an off taker, to think about, if I believe in regeneration and we can't do it ourselves as a company, who else can I bring into this conversation? Who else can I bring to the table for my farmers? How can I show up as a good partner? How can I show up to be a part of the solution and not part of a longer term problem.

Speaker 1:

There's some fascinating. I'll link the interview below. We did an interview with Emma Chau, who is now actually a regular voice on the show, but before she was at the Alamakarsa Foundation and they did a number of modeling activities of what happens when a company buys from a landscape or buy multiple crops from a farmer and changes the recipes. Of course they base the recipes of what the farmer can actually grow, which is a massive shift in, obviously in any fast-moving consumer good company.

Speaker 1:

But they did some modeling on the biodiversity increase, the profitability increase for the farmer and all of that. And it's compared to a standard buying one ingredient etc. And the differences are massive. It's a very readable report. I'll put it below. I think it's called the Big Food Redesign With those models in it. It's models, but it shows the potential.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, we're working with Alamakarsa right now on the Big Food Redesign with five products, because it was a big push. After, who's going to do this?

Speaker 1:

Because this is all fictional and until now I never heard somebody say we're actually building a recipe based on what the farmer can grow and on what the rotation of the Alamakarsa system can do. But the piece was very convincing, but it does lead or could lead to I'm not saying processing nightmare, but definitely processing challenges on your end. So how difficult has it been to say, okay, we take the avocado which needs to be dried and we'll become something else, and we take also the macadamia nut. And how tricky is that. And how does that then translate into your Excel sheet, which for sure becomes more challenging?

Speaker 2:

It's very American of me, right, but everything is figureoutable. I find it hilarious when I see really really smart business people in front of me smart investors, smart financiers, all of it who look at me and say this is impossible, nothing's impossible. We send people to the moon, right. We have electric cars now. Everybody said electric cars would not make it. We're seeing them come out in droves. Everybody. We want to immediately go to the.

Speaker 2:

No, and what humans are is super adaptable right, we're adaptable and we're creative and we can find ways of doing things For Good Sam. We do something. We have something called the Good Sam Network and every single value stakeholder has a part in this network. We all do something really really well. Good Sam is we are great at envisioning how a system can work and we're really great at marketing to the end consumer and putting a product on shelf right.

Speaker 2:

What we also do within that network is we find the right people to do the processing, the right people to do the transportation, the right people to partner with at the retail level, the right farmers, the right resources for our farmers all of those things right, and by creating that network of people who really know what they're doing and understand how to do what they're doing and how it relates to the whole system. We've created just different ways of doing business that most of our partners are like. I want to do this with everybody Like. This is amazing. We're all working in collaboration to create this product. We're all making money, we're all doing good, we're all taking care of each other. Right, it sounds very kumbaya, but when you put it in a pm work compared to a chain.

Speaker 1:

That's when you start.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and we call it a network instead of a chain, because a chain implies that that someone is linked to this in a really aggressive way. A network is a network of people who decide to come together to help each other. Right, we think of going to a networking event. We think of what are networks are? Networks are a group of people. We rely on a group of people that we can go to For multiple things.

Speaker 2:

Right and same thing with our farm. We treat our farmers the same way as we treat our investors. Right, we need our farmers and I think most companies Don't really think about how desperately they need their farmers and they treat them as if they're disposable, as if those farmers are in servitude to us. But we have to support our farmers if we want our food companies to survive. Right, our farmers have to become just as important to us as our investors are in order to really make it work long term, because the system is crumbling currently. It's crumbling to your point. Right, we're seeing farmers leave their farms. We're seeing young people leave their farms. If we don't start treating them with the respect, the gratitude and the dignity that we treat every one of our other stakeholders with, we're going to lose Ultimately, because smallholder farmers actually feed more of the world than any industrial farm right. These conglomerates of smallholders are some of the they're holding some of the biggest bags of food on the planet.

Speaker 1:

And right, how did the consumer, or, let's say, the partner that has to buy it, which is a part of the network, of course respond? You said we went to retail at the end of 2022, after, of course, being online, which is a very different Beast, I imagine, because you can steer very differently. You probably have to pay as well for some exposure, but in retail that's that's a whole different level and a whole different machine. So how did the consumers want? And then also, let's tap into the education piece, because you mentioned at the beginning Region needs, communication, education needs, and you have what is it half a second or two sec or a second maybe, when somebody is comparing different, different brands and different packaging? But how did the first food, because we're recording this beginning of 24. How did the first full year go? How did the consumer in, in, let's say, offline responded yeah.

Speaker 2:

So I think first of all, we've been really lucky to have the support of Sprouts Farmers Market nationally in the United States and Whole Foods Market in the United States. I think these two retailers and the reason we aligned ourselves with them is that we understood that the consumer at those retailers would have a better understanding of something like regenerative or what we were doing as a company than if we went to mass, conventional or club. Regenerative still just has a really long way to go with the mass consumer in the United States. So we took mass and conventional club, all of that off the table. We're like we're not going to engage with that consumer yet. It needs to be in the mainstream narrative for far longer than it has been in order for us to succeed there.

Speaker 2:

So we've gone long with Whole Foods and Sprouts, erowan and CG and for these are all either conglomerates of retailers or large retailers in the United States on in the natural channel. What we've done with those groups is I think the biggest thing for us is the billboard is of our packaging. You know it says small farms and very, very large letters and the one thing that the Americans consumer really understands is that they want to support small businesses they want. They understand on some level that supporting small farms is a positive right in that split.

Speaker 1:

Is it delivered? That says farms, not farmers, or didn't fit.

Speaker 2:

It's a small farms on the. Is it delivered?

Speaker 1:

that it doesn't say farmers or didn't fit on that.

Speaker 2:

It's deliberate. Yeah, I mean small farms, small farmers, small stakeholders, right like it's in the American mind and in that like advertisement, in that split second, you know that's what captures their attention and good Sam, you know, look we are. We are a voice for smallholder farmers around the world. We are telling their stories, we are sharing their stories. We are highlighting their products and their practices. Some consumers that will be as far as they go. They're like small farms. I want to support. A small farm like this is great.

Speaker 1:

How did you get to that actually? How did you like what's the process like to? Because you have a split second, you choose to put probably two words you can show there, and there might be many other in the region space words you could have picked. Like, how do you go about something like that?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, originally it was be an ally for small farms. That's what was on the pack to be an ally for small farmers. But what we realized in talking to consumers is that the reason they were picking it up was because it's small farms and they were excited that, you know, they could support small farms through their purchase. That was what they were assuming and they rightfully assume that, obviously because that is part of our ethos, our brand ethos. So consumers in the US you know, because it's such a crowded, noisy space with lots of competitors, they want to understand something fundamental to the product right away. And so in the small farms messaging, we knew right away that people were picking it up because I want to support small farm, I want to support small farms. I think that's a great idea. I might not know why, but it seems like that is something that is positive and good and two thumbs up from, like, their perspective, in the forefront of their mind as we drill deeper with consumers who get more curious and they're like OK, well, what do you guys do for small farms? Right? So then they might come to our website, see how we are on the farm, see how our, our team is interfacing in different countries, then they might dig into our impact report. And then they start realizing like whoa, ok, these guys don't participate in fair trade, but they're putting all the money they would have paid fair trade into the farms that they work with and they're building roads and they're putting in power lines and solar panels and clean water and redoing the bathroom infrastructure and supporting the community with social programs. And so they start to dig deeper and deeper and deeper into the story of what we do.

Speaker 2:

Consumers want to know that they're doing the right thing when they buy something like a good Sam right, that's just, it's something that they are excited about but sometimes don't have enough time to really dig into and fully understand. And that was sort of how we have opened the door to the consumer to ask more questions, to engage with us, to try to understand exactly why they're paying a little bit more money for something like a macadamia or a pecan or a chocolate bar or a bag of coffee. And then you know there's a in the American narrative right now there is an assumption that regenerative is good. They don't know why it's good, but they know it's good, right, and that, ok, regenerative seems like a good thing. Like regeneration seems like a good thing. There's something positive about that that I should be participating in. So we're kind of like at that level with the US consumer right now where they're like very curious, they don't totally understand.

Speaker 2:

Good, sam educates in a number of ways obviously by really drawing a customer in through the small farms, messaging on our pack, but then also online on our social channels, in the press Right. Why is regeneration so important? Well, we don't want to deplete our top soil because we want crops to continue to grow for generations to come. And if we don't start farming regeneratively, if we don't start supporting these regenerative systems, we are going to lose them and potentially create food scarcity, create much larger problems than we have right now.

Speaker 1:

And I mean these partners Whole Foods and Sprouts are for sure very interested because I don't think there are too many like very in your face, regeneratively focused brands at the moment. But they also will take you off the shelf if you're not selling. So how did it go and how did the consumer respond? And the consumer doesn't come back, of course, if it's not great taste and it's nice to buy it once, but if it's way more expensive than the rest and sort of disappointing and you will buy another one or some kind of some way.

Speaker 2:

I think we serve. I think we, we meet the mark for taste, which is why consumers keep coming back to us. They wouldn't keep coming back to us if the product didn't taste good. Our numbers speak for themselves. The company has grown over 100 percent year over year since this inception.

Speaker 2:

I think, again, not having to educate people in the, in the categories that we play in, is a huge plus. Right, I don't have to explain what a macadamia nut is. I don't have to explain what a chocolate bar is. I don't have to explain what a bag of coffee is. But also the consumer's curiosity into the ethics of the product is something that they're they're excited about. They're like if I'm going to support something, you know I might not be able to open up my checkbook this year and write a check to a charity for five hundred dollars, but I can spend a dollar or two extra a week on this product, knowing that my money is going toward doing the right thing somewhere on the planet. And I think a lot of consumers, especially as inflation is continued to play grocery retail in the United States have said I'm going to make my everyday purchases matter. I'm going to make my grocery store purchases matter by backing ethical, sustainable brands, or at least the perception of that, even if I don't fully understand it. I want to participate in some capacity.

Speaker 1:

And for you, looking back on your first company in, also in the chocolate space, and you mentioned was bought by private equity or was sold to private equity, but that's the same thing. How do you think differently on this journey with goods and which by almost by definition in the regenerative space has a long term view? And like, how do you think differently now on funding this company compared to to your first endeavor in the space?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean I think every American entrepreneur. Look, I'm an American, so we're capitalists. And, of course, the first company I was involved with I was like we're going to sell it for millions of dollars, you know, and it's just that was.

Speaker 2:

That was the end game. I think in a company like this, you know we're trying to align ourselves with investors and shareholders who see a longer term vision for us. There's a lot of people who rely on this system at Good Sam. There's a lot of farmers and communities that are relying on us to continue to grow and change the world, and so I look at this more through creating a profitable business where my shareholders on this side of the world can make money, but also where my farmers don't get dumped into an acquisition.

Speaker 2:

You know we're not looking actively for that acquisition partner. We want to become the next, you know, multinational. We want to become a company that you know is really steeped in food and ethical food and changes the business model of food, because the business model of food is broken. When we don't prioritize the planet and we don't prioritize the people who are taking care of those crops, we are tempting fate and in the next 30 years, between climate and between a decrease in livelihood for farmers around the world, we are going to see massive consequences to organizations that are not prioritizing people in planet within their businesses.

Speaker 1:

And how difficult is it to find those investors? Or, flip side of the question, how much education on the investor side is needed. Let's say, on food system, because I think a lot of people got excited on food and ag over the last decade plus, and of course, there are some fancy brands, some interesting exits left and right not necessarily in the region space, but there was a lot of cheap money floating around left and right and but all of that money comes with with, let's say, some baggage, or comes with a recipe and comes with potential consequences if you take the wrong, the wrong money into your company. So how, how has been that journey of fundraising? You're well connected, you've made a lot of experience and made already an exit in the space. So there's there's a difference there, of course, but picking the right group of investors around you is almost as important as the team around you. So how has been? How's been the journey?

Speaker 2:

You know, look capital last year, in 2023, was abysmal, and for female founders even worse.

Speaker 1:

Of course, not a lot of change Since you started.

Speaker 2:

It's been challenging. I'm really lucky again that I've surrounded myself with an insanely talented and experienced team. We were able to make moves to make sure that we could survive and we could still grow. We we actually ended up keeping our burns steady and doubling our revenue. There's not many companies that can say they could do something like that. We we were able to keep our team intact all last year. We were able to do things that other businesses just simply weren't able to do, and it's really just because we have again really experienced players involved in our company.

Speaker 2:

I think the type of investor that we're looking for exists. I think that they're out there. We've we've raised money Right and we are continuing to raise money. I think that it takes a very courageous and forward thinking investor to invest in this space. I think this is the future of food. I think we're, especially as we see, asg reports you know, mandated ASG reports coming out in the United States for public companies and private companies assessing themselves up against it. Investors are going to be hard pressed to continue to invest in those extractive entities and they're going to have to start reexamining how they do business and what it is that their priorities are. Quick exits, I think in food, are a thing of the past. I think it's very, very difficult, and investors who are doing that, I think there's going to be a reckoning for them.

Speaker 2:

If they haven't already seen a reckoning on pumping a lot of money to try to turn something fast. If they haven't already seen that reckoning, they're going to see it, because a lot of investors, I think, in the last two years, have seen the error of their ways and so they have to sort of figure out how they are going to invest in companies where they're really part of a real growth strategy, not a fast turnaround strategy, because those are two very, very different things. What Good Sam is is a long-term investment that will be profitable at the end of this year, and that's a very different company to invest in than somebody in their 20s who's like I'm giving you these over-inflated numbers and let's go sell it to Mondalys in three years. I think those days are over and again I think investors who are still investing in that capacity, in that way, are just going to get burned over and over again. I just don't think those stories exist anymore.

Speaker 2:

I'm interested in running a healthy company. I'm interested in investors who want to go the distance with us. I'm interested in investors who care about what happens and want to leave a legacy. But investors out there who are listening to me say this understand I'm also American and I'm more interested in conscious capitalism than I am extractive capitalism. So if you're one of those investors who wants to back somebody who is practical and a team that's practical but also really doing the right thing and transforming the food system, then you should call us.

Speaker 1:

And let's say we do this live. I would like to ask the question let's say we're in a theater, let's say in New York and not that far from where you're now, and the room is full of investors, either professional, with, let's say, not their own wealth, or either with their own wealth, which could be very professional, institutional or private wealth. What would be the main message? I mean, they're excited after the evening, they've heard us speak, they're definitely on board, they will buy some of your products the next time they're in one of those shops, but what would be the main seed or the main message? If there's one thing they remember, what would you want them to remember after an evening like that?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that you can have a successful business. You can have a successful business and do the right thing. They often are positioned as mutually exclusive and they're not. It is good business to do the right thing. It is good business to take care of your supply network and the people on the ground. It is good business to take care of the planet. It is good business to do all of these things and it reflects in our P&L and our balance sheet and our cash flow statement. And I think, as time moves on and as climate in particular continues to become something that a force, literally, that we have to reckon with, investors are going to have to start thinking about the companies that are trying to protect those assets versus the ones that are just trying to make a quick buck. When you try to make a quick buck, you're going to get burned in the future. That's already happening. So start thinking about how you can make sustainable investments.

Speaker 1:

And do you think it's almost easier? I mean easier is not the right word, but with the complex systems you're dealing with, but in tree crops, in systems with smaller farmers, like you mentioned before, we're not reinventing a monocropping system in the Midwest. We're buying from a system that is not saying perfect, but pretty far along in terms of complexity. Biodiversity and a nice extra margin makes a huge difference. Instead of completely having to reinvent the wheel around soy, which is very tricky it definitely has to do it's almost easier that you're dealing with smaller farmers in super-bidiverse countries with trees, because agroforestry seems to be the future. Is that? Does it give you a leg up compared to some of the other categories in whole foods that you look at like? Oh my god, if I have to reinvent that, that's going to take 10, 15 years.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think there's a couple of things. So, first of all, regenerative agriculture is not about technology new technology, it's really about old technology. It's really about farming. That's been around for centuries, thousands of years. This is not a new concept.

Speaker 1:

When we sit with indigenous farmers, it's pretty hilarious because they're like yeah, we do this, we've been doing this, and you said yeah, but now we have a lab and a microscope, so now we can prove it, and they're like, yeah, we've been here for millennia. It's kind of a funny thing?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, because, look, it's sexy to have tech. Tech is so sexy, it's so cool, it's so like, oh, I want that, I need that. Like, yes, look at this cool thing I invested in. Versus like, oh, I invested in old technology that really, really works super, super efficiently.

Speaker 2:

Because we were so extractive for such a long time that going back to the basics and going back to the way farming really should be doesn't seem so sexy, but it really is, because the transformations of those systems is really where the sexy part is.

Speaker 2:

When you see an extractive system that then gets revamped over the course of three to five years into this beautiful biodiverse system, that's where the excitement is and that's where the excitement should come from is that we can do something that is super low tech and actually doesn't require a ton of money, as we see it in more developed countries or in the global north. We can take a very conservative amount of cash and transform systems or protect, preserve and grow those systems as they exist into even more biodynamic, beautiful, thriving systems for generations to come. On the small holder piece, this is an education moment for me and, forgive me, I deal with a lot of American investors, so maybe the year of P&M, investors will roll their eyes and it is a little bit of a slight to my American investors, but a lot of American investors in particular ask me how we're going to scale a small holder model.

Speaker 1:

Instead of asking repeat yeah.

Speaker 2:

And I'm like guys, we already scaled a small holder model. Most of the world's food actually comes from these associations and cooperatives. They come through brokers and the brokers do all that work for your small companies. So just an education point we are already scaling small holder models. We've been doing this since the agricultural revolution. We have been scaling small holders. We've been aggregating small holders into large scale models for many, many, many, many, many years. So a company like Good Sam talking about small holders and talking about small farms and talking about scaling small holders is not a revolutionary new concept. We wouldn't have most of the world's food, we wouldn't have chocolate, we wouldn't have coffee, we wouldn't have most fruits.

Speaker 1:

What is the reaction when you step on your pedestal to explain this piece Like is that like amazement? Or like, oh, it's not new, let me get out of the door.

Speaker 2:

I am sure there are some people who are listening to this that are rolling their eyes going really they didn't know that, but really there are a lot of investors out there who do not know that we already did this a long time ago. It's not a revolutionary new thing. And what's the response then?

Speaker 1:

when you are sitting in a room with, let's say, 90% doesn't know You're like. Ok, the scale question again.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. How do they respond when?

Speaker 1:

you share that. How do they respond to that? Like curious or lost interest, because it's not new.

Speaker 2:

I think that for most of them that don't know, they want to go to their other portfolio companies and say do we work with smallholder farmers? Is that how they're like oh no, no, we work with brokers. But do those brokers work with smallholder farmers? Oh, I don't know, let me check. Oh yeah, they do. They work with 2,000 smallholder farmers. And they're like oh shoot, I didn't know, but that's how the system works.

Speaker 2:

Not everything comes from large commercial grade farms. That's scalable. A lot of food comes from aggregates of farmers in the association and cooperative models that then feed into broker networks the majority of your portfolio companies are actually pulling from, especially if they're startups. The big commercial farms are really servicing multinationals and larger companies in major economies. So I think it's just something to note, because sometimes people will just say to me well, how do we? That's great, heather, you guys are doing X in revenue and that's incredible. But how do we scale this? And I'm like OK, guys, we got to go back to the basics Because we're so disconnected from our food All of us are so disconnected from our food we don't know where the majority especially if packaged goods come from. But you'd be hard pressed to find anyone right in a grocery store who picks up a pair or an apple or a banana, be able to tell you where that came from and what the circumstances are around that crop.

Speaker 1:

And this might be the answer too, but I don't want to put an answer there for you. You might have a different one, but it's a good bridge to a magic wand question we like to ask, which is what would you do if you had the magic power to change one thing overnight? Could be full transparency, like you mentioned, or maybe have a completely different answer.

Speaker 2:

I think if I could change one thing overnight consumers which are all of us, by the way, we're all eaters. We all eat food all over the world, but especially those of us in the global north then we would understand where our food really comes from. Because the concepts of organic regeneration, non-gmo project equity for workers, a lot of those problems would get solved if everybody understood what is actually happening on the ground. Where does your food really come from? When you put that banana in your smoothie, what are the circumstances on the ground that led to the creation of that banana? The majority of the time, it is really terrible circumstances, terrible circumstances that you don't want to think about right in order to get that banana to you for the cost that you pay.

Speaker 1:

And because we've all seen the horrible documentaries, articles and all of that. We sort of especially, I think if you're slightly interested in food, you've seen that and still somehow ignore it. Of course you have the magic power, so that's not a problem for you. You solved that. But back to the real world. Is the transparency piece? Is that enough? No, probably not. Like, what kind of scandal do we need on chemicals to really wake up? Like, what kind of global consciousness, like in terms of consumers to start voting with their dollars? And it's not a huge amount.

Speaker 1:

We've seen, of course, in animal protein maybe or in other categories. But if you pay $2 a week more and you change a whole value network, not a value chain, like these are not amounts that really will break the bank. And yet we've not done that. Like, organic has been growing, but not extensively. Fair trade OK-ish, but it's not bringing the revolution it needs. Like, can we rely on the consumer, let's say, to massively change, especially in times like this, but to change their buying power? Or are you showing, actually, that we can, because with really good marketing and really good positioning you move a lot of consumers that would have bought something else? Sorry, very big question.

Speaker 2:

I'm going to say some controversial things now. Are you ready? Yeah, of course. Ok, first of all, I think that if you are the CEO of a food company or you sit on the board of a food company, you have the responsibility, responsibility and obligation to go to where the food that you are selling is produced. Your decisions in a boardroom will fundamentally change by understanding the plight on the ground, by understanding the circumstances on the ground, by understanding what the communities on the ground are going through for you to make money. That's number one. Every CEO, every board member, every key person in any food organization should be required to go see where they produce, where their stuff actually comes from.

Speaker 2:

That's number one, because when we see things that we cannot unsee as leaders, that leads to company action, which leads to consumer education. It leads to us opening the door to our capacity for empathy as human beings and for understanding that we are all inextricably connected. As humans, we all want the same thing. We all need to eat three times a day. We all need to provide for our families. We all need to exist in our economies and our communities.

Speaker 2:

I also think when it comes to things like chemicals. I think, unfortunately right. I think it's a big unfortunate piece of it that until it really affects us or somebody that we know, we don't have much interest in it. But again, I think if we go back to where food is really coming from and how food is marketed to us, especially in the global north Right, because it's very different in the global south, but in the global north, when we market things to people, when we talk about our supply, when we talk about the people that we work with, when we make decisions in boardrooms, a lot can be solved by sending the people who make those decisions to the place where it's being made.

Speaker 1:

And I remember I won't name the company, but a relatively very big company and the CEO, head of procurement I think, was in France and, through an NGO, organized a visit to one of their farms and the farmer came to show his soil and came to give it actually, and the guy, of course was a guy, was sort of like, oh no, I'm not going to touch the soil. Of course he was in his big Audi car, in his new booth, which he bought specifically for that day and we didn't want to touch that and later reflected on that, was really shocked because dealing with food every single day of probably his whole career and was sort of taken back by touching, in that case, very healthy soil and that experience, yeah, we let's say we wish that for everyone, which would be.

Speaker 2:

Well, I will tell you about me. I dig around and compost piles on the farms. I am that person. But you know, a CEO should know what it looks like. A CEO should know what it smells like. A CEO should know you know the people on the ground and understand those things Because, again, you make very different decisions in that boardroom. You bring a very different perspective in the boardroom when you have that experience. You just do. And you've got to understand soil in order to run a food company. You've got to understand how healthy or unhealthy the soil is of the problem.

Speaker 2:

In this day and age, when climate change is such a big issue, in the United States alone, we emit 30 percent of our carbon from agriculture. Don't even get me started on methane emissions in the United States from food waste. That's a whole other topic. Right, that people would be horrified if they really understood the numbers behind methane in our food system in the US. If you don't, if you as a leader who's putting food out and messaging out and instructing your marketing departments on how to message to consumers, don't really understand those things, you are missing a huge opportunity to change lives and to protect your company, right, and you're missing a huge opportunity with your consumer.

Speaker 2:

Again, I'm not I'm not a 20 something eco warrior. You know, let's do the right thing at all costs, kind of CEO. I've been on both sides of this table and I've been the leader who, you know, didn't really know what to do and kind of like just saw enough and kind of like I don't know how do we fix this. And now I'm the leader who's digging around in the compost pile making very, very different decisions that have financially helped my company get to the place that it now is. Right, you've got to be able to dig around in there. You've got to be able to understand every facet of what it is that you're producing. It's super, super important to the future of food and it's super, super important to the future of your organization.

Speaker 1:

And then let's flip the question we always like to ask what if you would be in charge of, on the investor side? So you're in charge of a relatively large portfolio, let's say a billion dollars, and you had to put it to work. Could be extremely long term, the time horizon doesn't matter, but it had to be put to work, which means searching some kind of financial return. I'm not looking for exact dollar amounts, I'm looking. What would you prioritize? What would you focus on? In which buckets, let's say, would you tackle first?

Speaker 2:

Well, look, what I'm asking portfolio managers to do by investing in good Sam is to diversify.

Speaker 2:

You have enough in your portfolio. That is of the old way. Ok, we're going to put five million in this thing, we're going to flip it in three years. Three years comes around Guess what? The majority you aren't flipping those companies. That's like the big joke. It's like, ok, they need more money and no one's going to buy them. So, like, why are we still?

Speaker 2:

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. And we keep investors keep doing that and, like you guys, like, when are we going to learn here? Like, there are actually a huge subset of companies who are doing the right thing, becoming profitable, kicking off dividends, doing things that are really more financially sound for you long term. I'm not asking you to give that up, but I'm asking you to diversify, right, I'm asking you to diversify your portfolio to say, let me take a shot on something like the good Sam, because even if I don't sell a good Sam and we're in this in a long term play, we're going to make money on this company. We're going to actually be able to invest in other things because this company is in our portfolio, right, and we're going to be able to, like, take some of that cash back over time versus these other plays that could completely go out of business and so on.

Speaker 2:

A lot of them do, by the way. We take a shot, we take a risk, we take a huge risk. We put millions in. Nobody buys it. We've put more money in, oh, then there's a point where we don't want to put any more money in and put Bye, bye, money babies, see you later.

Speaker 2:

You know, with something like good Sam, you know we're playing commodities which people totally understand. We're protecting ecosystems, we're protecting livelihoods. We're going to kick off dividends. We're going to put money back into your pocket, right? All of those things Like. I'm just asking you to try something a different way. I'm asking you to diversify your strategy. That's what we want you to do. We're not asking you to just invest in companies like us. You don't have to believe us right away, but you're taking just as much of a risk on us as you are any other company in your portfolio. So diversify and have some long term plays and have some short term plays. I can promise you the long term plays are going to be much more lucrative long term. That's just math, right, like? At the end of the day, that's just math.

Speaker 2:

Kind of controversial for me today, but I'm pretty sure numbers only work one way.

Speaker 1:

And like, beyond something like GoodSum, what would you be excited about of investing in? Would it be? What other areas? You don't have three lives, so let's focus on this company at the moment. But what if you could be on the investor side and put a significant amount or not so significant amount in other categories? What are other ones that, beside the nuts, the coffee and the cacao, are re-endried fruits? What are really ones that you get itchy and you want to tackle, but not for no?

Speaker 2:

Well, I think anything that is focused on infrastructure in the food system is a good play, because we have not put a lot into infrastructure over the course of the last 50 years, so I think infrastructure is becoming a huge problem for farmers in general and for getting food out of systems. I think that food infrastructure plays, or brands and companies that are focused on infrastructure, are good plays. I think vertical integration is like as close as you can get to vertical integration is another good play for investors. I think, again, anything around climate that isn't. There is some climate tech that's super interesting and you got to kind of look at them all as they come along, but I think climate is going to continue to just again wreak havoc and anything that we can do to try to look at solutions on climate for farmers, for brands, for the consumer.

Speaker 2:

One of the big marketing messages I think that's really funny at Good Sam is when we start talking about the fact that coffee could be gone in 10 years and the American consumer, when you say things like coffee could be at risk, is like whoa, whoa, whoa. What do I need to buy? What do I need to do? Who do I need to pay? Like I can't imagine my life without coffee. So, really thinking about what consumers can't live without, what they depend on in their everyday. Yes, humans are very, very adaptable, but ask anyone today if they're willing to give up their cup of coffee in the morning and the answer will undoubtedly, 99.9% of the time, be no, I will not give up coffee. How could I give up coffee? I can't imagine a world without coffee. So, understanding what consumers really can't live without, versus the trendy, you know, oh, that's trendy, oh that's new and techy and exciting. I don't know, I don't. You know, I think that those there's been some unicorns, but I think there's been far less upside to those investments than there has been downside.

Speaker 1:

Very, very valuable, like push for fundamentals to focus on and not the next Different question. It's a different kind of. It's a different like what do you want to play?

Speaker 2:

People live without people can live without plant based meat. You guys, it's fact. They can, right, you can live without plant based meat, but ask anybody if they can live without coffee or chocolate. You get a very different answer from from people.

Speaker 1:

And I think it's a perfect moment to to wrap up this conversation and I want to thank you so much for the work you do and, of course, to come here and share about the journey, and share about what you would do with, with a billion dollars and, of course, how you're innovating in those fundamentals to our daily life categories.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely. Thanks so much for having me. It was a real pleasure to be here and and talk about our work and also talk about the world that we want to create in the future.

Speaker 1:

Thank you so much for listening all the way to the end. For the show notes and links we discussed in this episode, Check out our website investing in regenerative agriculturecom forward slash posts. If you like this episode, why not share it with a friend? Or give us a rating on Apple podcast? That really helps. Thanks again and see you next time.

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