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In Session

The Wall Street formula does not add up for food

The Wall Street formula does not add up for food
Robyn O'Brien, rePlant Capital, takes a shake-it-up look at why change needs to occur to fund a better food future. This presentation was recorded at Natural Products Expo West.

“When we are not investing in innovation, when we are not investing in infrastructure, we are actually hollowing out our economy. And the food industry is uniquely positioned to address this.”

—Robyn O'Brien, rePlant Capital

Part 1: Wall Street remodel


  • Quarterly earnings expectations are gutting the natural products industry.
  • A look at $1.1 trillion spent last year on buybacks. This figure is more than three times the projections for total organic in 2025.
  • The extractive system is trashing the soil.
  • “The most important ingredient in the food system is capital... We have to be as mindful in how we source capital as we are in how we source ingredients,” O’Brien says.
  • O'Brien takes a look at the Kraft implosion. “You cannot grow organic on a debt mountain."


Part 2: Funding a better food future


  • The climate crisis is impacting the earnings model.
  • Wall Street still uses metrics from 1985. O'Brien explains how "you cannot fix a broken food system with a broken financial system."
  • A look at the Bayer-Monsanto acquisition and why it happened without a shareholder vote nor farmer approval.
  • Regenerative finance would include soil, air, water and human capital.
  • Why food finance needs transparency, disruption and outsiders, and why millennials are guaranteed to change it.

This Nutrition Capital Network (NCN) Funding Forum session—Shaking Up Wall Street: Funding a Better Food Future—was recorded at Natural Products Expo West 2019.

 Nutritional Capital Network logo

What's happening with NCN now:

 Looking to invest in nutrition? Investors can still register for the NCN Spring Investor Meeting on April 23-24. 

 Want to pitch your brand? The deadline for NCN Europe VI at VitaFoods Europe is April 4.     

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