October News and Updates
Open House and Portfolio Event
October has been a special month for The Nest. We started the month by welcoming our peers in the food and agriculture space, our portfolio, and friends to an Open House event held at Domaine de Graux. Sunday, October 1, was a beautiful day for a tour of our incredible farm and an afternoon of sharing the goals, insights, and intentions that guide us all on a path toward a more resilient and sustainable food system. Over 200 people joined the Open House. Thank you to all who attended; It was such a joy to share The Nest with all of you.
The afternoon included a keynote address from Louis De Jaeger of the Food Forest Institute and co-director of the documentary Eat More Trees covering the challenges of soil health, water resources, biodiversity, and the role of agroecology in the future of farming. Additional topics also included the link between soil health and human health from Eric Smith, an overview of the Domaine de Graux farm from Marie Devaulx, and a panel discussion lead by Anouk Schoors with Clotilde de Montpelier of Farm For Good, Carlo Mondavi from Monarch, Justin Bruch of Clear Frontier, Tashia Tucker from Olombria, and Ethan Steinberg of Propagate. Els Thermote kicked off the presentations by providing an overview of The Nest’s vision for a resilient, sustainable, and healthy food system.
The Nest’s Portfolio event took place the next day, on October 2, with a full schedule of presentations, collaboration, breakout discussions, and networking. The Portfolio Event included over 40 attendees from across The Nest’s investments and foundation work, and it was such a joy to bring everyone together. As the Portfolio Event sessions wrapped up, the entire group gathered at the edge of a field at Domaine de Graux. Together, the group spread handfuls of wildflower seeds for a pollinator buffer, planting seeds both physically and metaphorically from the productive event. The event closed with all gathering at a long communal table for a meal of healthy, organic food and lively conversation. We are grateful for everyone who attended and are humbled to partner with such an amazing, inspiring group of people. We are so excited for what will come from these new connections and collaborations.
The Nest’s Anouk Schoors will be part of an expert panel at the 2nd Belgium Impact Day, held in Brussels on November 8, 2023. The panel will discuss the topic “How to Finance the Transition towards Sustainable Agriculture.” Learn more about the event.
In the Media
Congratulations to Astanor Ventures on becoming a Certified B Corporation. The Astanor team’s commitment to purpose, sustainability, and impact earned an incredible B Corp score of 121.3, well over the eighty-point score required for the designation.
The team from Propagate partnered with The Nature Conservancy to publish a peer-reviewed article, “Silvopasture offers climate change mitigation and profit potential for farmers in the eastern United States,” in the journal Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems. The research paper covers the economic and carbon sequestration opportunity with expansion of silvopasture, the integration of livestock grazing and managed forestry.
In October, Atomo Coffee launched the world’s first beanless espresso product. Atomo is planning for a March 2024 opening of its facility that can produce four million pounds of beanless coffee, a product made through use of molecular technology to extract the compounds of coffee from upcycled and sustainable ingredients like date pits.
Mark Kahn of India-based Omnivore shared his perspective on the “third wave” of agritech innovation and investment strategy with Entrepreneur India. Omnivore not only closed a $150million round in June, but the impact investment group also announced four key hires in October.
AquaSpark investment Protix raised €55 million from multinational food-processing company Tyson Foods to build an insect ingredient facility in the continental U.S. The sizable investment signals keen interest in lower carbon feed sources by the livestock and aquaculture industries. (Log in required). AquaSpark also led a raise for $7million US in seed funding for Wanda Fish, a start-up that produces cultured whole-filet bluefin tuna.
Learn how Clear Frontier is reducing the barriers for regenerative and organic production, and their growing network of successful, young farmers in our Journal article this month.
From the Farm
Our October event was held at the stunning Domaine de Graux farm. If you could not attend the event or missed the farm tours, learn more about our vision for this special place and how the team at Domaine de Graux is putting agroecology practices to work.