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Farmland Investing and Protein Alternatives

Top Papers on The Outlook for Investing in Agriculture, Farmland and Timberland

Is the world ready for a meatless future, or the gradual replacement of meat with more ecologically friendly protein alternatives? The post-IPO performance of stocks such as Beyond Meat may indicate that investors have a surprising appetite for alternative protein.  

The below papers discuss the present outlook for the timberland and farmland industries, including other interesting topics like the onset of African Swine Flu in China, ESG factors for timberland investors, farmland cash yields, and the usage of agricultural microbials to improve crops. 

Protein Alternatives Timberland Farmland


Farmland: A durable and consistent investment (Nuveen, 2019)

The returns received from farmland investments are typically uncorrelated to other major asset classes such as stocks and bonds, nor are they greatly impacted by the overall economic cycle. Institutional investors considering allocations to real assets should take heed of farmland's resiliency and its relatively low volatility.

Taking Stock of Farmland Cash Yields: a Comparative Analysis (Manulife IM, 2019)

For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in the EMEA region

Farmland investments typically have strong cash yields. A well-diversified farmland portfolio for an institutional investor could contain a mix of crops, different strategies for managing them, and a variety of geographical regions of operation.

A geographical focus on farmland and real estate investing (Nuveen, 2019)

Given the natural hedges that these assets provide in different stages of the economic cycle, Nuveen makes the case for institutional investors to consider a strategic allocation to real estate and farmland investments that is global in nature, and well-diversified by asset types and geographies.


Meat: The Future (WEF, 2019)

This World Economic Forum publication is about '21st-century protein' and strategies for delivering it to the masses.

Meatless Future or Vegan Delusions? The Beyond Meat Valuation (Aswath Damodaran)

Professor Aswath Damodaran looks at the valuation of Beyond Meat, examining what is behind its outstanding post-IPO performance.

How Big Food is responding to the alternative protein boom (WEF blog, Aug 2019)

This is a summary of the six biggest takeaways from a report entitled "Appetite for Disruption," which is about the response of Big Food companies to the 'alternative protein' craze.

Meat the Alternative: Australia's $3bn Opportunity (Food Frontier, 2019)

Can plant-based meat products fully replicate the experience of eating actual meat products? The jury is still out, but as the field of food science advance further along, demand for plant-based meats and healthy 'protein alternatives' is booming.


Timberland and Farmland in a Mixed Asset Portfolio (Manulife AM, 2019)

For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in the EMEA region

Manulife Asset Management compares a combined timberland and farmland portfolio's risk/return profile to that of financial assets and other real assets such as commercial real estate.

Transforming the Forestry Asset Class (New Forests, 2019)

The author describes five trends in the forestry sector that are working to transform this asset class.

An Introduction to Responsible Investment in Forestry (UN PRI, 2019)

UN PRI describes ESG factors within the forestry industry, their integration into investment processes, and frameworks for the analysis of ESG factors that are specifically applicable to forestry investors.

Scaling Impact Investment in Forestry (Global Impact Investing Network, 2019)

This GIIN report describes the opportunity set for impact investing within the forestry sector. Five of the most common sources of revenue for impact investors in this industry are: timber sales, carbon offsets, other forest products, and selling/leasing land.


AMIS Monthly Agriculture Market Monitor (Oct 2019)

From Agricultural Market Information System, a monthly report on soft commodity markets. This is the latest in a regular series of monthly reports.

World Agricultural Production (USDA, Jul 2019)

This paper provides some important insights into the global agriculture outlook.

The impact of African Swine Fever on the agricultural industry (Nuveen, Jul 2019)

The recent outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) is weaking havoc on Chinese pig populations. As China is the biggest global market for pork, ASF is having a tremendous knock-on effect. Agricultural experts from Nuveen talk about the impact of ASF on trade negotiations as well as agricultural and farmland investors.


Agriculture and low-carbon: We can’t wait until the cows come home (Hermes IM)

For compliance reasons, this paper is NOT accessible in the United States

Despite the 'green revolution' in the agriculture industry in the '60s, the industry today isn't very green. Agriculture and deforestation total almost a quarter of global GHG emissions. Hermes discusses the need to curb emissions and lower global temperatures, while also finding better ways to feed whe world's population.

Agricultural microbials: Towards a leaner, greener food system (NN IP, 2019)

Soil microbes occur naturally and can boost crop yields. In this paper, NN Investment Partners discusses the agricultural microbial industry, current environmental regulations, and the demand for ag-microbial products.

The Carbon Imperative: How Agribusiness Can Curb Emissions (Bain & Company, 2019)

Agricultural processors and other large agribusinesses are attempting to curb their levels of carbon emissions in ways that benefit both the planet and their financial statements.