Contractor, Regenerative Ag Investing

The Nature Conservancy Published: July 15, 2021
Remote, CO
Job Type
Analyst / Research / Farm / Organics / Finance /

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~ The Nature Conservancy is seeking a Contractor, Regenerative Ag Investing ~


The Nature Conservancy has an organizational objective to Provide Food and Water Sustainably for all people without sacrificing the environment. Accelerating the transition to regenerative forms of food production is a strategic focal area for the Conservancy’s food programs. Regenerative agriculture practices and supporting technologies can provide food, fiber and fuel for a growing population while enhancing biodiversity, adapting to climate change, and providing for the long-term viability of global food systems. NatureVest, TNC’s impact investment division, believes private investment and corporate procurement standards are an essential component to this transition and as such, we are seeking to better understand how we might increase private investors and corporate buyers’ interest in regenerative systems.


Contract Opportunity Request for Proposals:

  • Strategic Assessment of Investment Opportunities in Regenerative Agriculture

Project Objective:

The Nature Conservancy seeks to assess the potential role of investment capital to further TNC’s priority goals in the regenerative agriculture space. As part of this analysis, TNC would like to better understand the current state of private and corporate investment in regenerative agriculture systems, including problems that limit capital providers participation in the sector. For the purposes of this contract, “regenerative systems” will be scoped to certain on-farm practices such as cover cropping, no or reduced tillage, or intensified crop rotation.

The assessment should identify barriers and market failures that may have historically limited flows of capital along with trends and tailwinds that support investment. Specifically, TNC is interested in assessing opportunities where TNC’s may develop investment solutions to (i) meet investor needs or requirements or (ii) deliver additional value vs. existing products already available in the agricultural investment market – with the ultimate goal of prioritizing a suite of investment areas or opportunities that meet both market demand and can directly deliver TNC’s target conservation outcomes.

Contract Duration:

  • 5 months, beginning July-August, 2021

Duties and Responsibilities

Task 1: Develop assessment of private investors’ current approach to regenerative ag investing.

  • Develop interview methodologies to qualitatively and quantitatively assess private investors interest in regenerative agriculture. Interviews should seek to understand:
    • Current exposure to agriculture investments
    • Awareness and depth of knowledge of regenerative systems vs conventional or organic approaches
    • Perspective on value creation potential of regenerative ag
    • Perspective on risks of regenerative ag
    • Perspective on non-financial incentives to invest in regenerative ag
    • Perspective on preference for regenerative practices vs other sustainable approaches (organic, water-smart etc)
    • Other factors that encourage or discourage investment in regenerative ag
    • Perspective on where organizations like TNC may add the most value in advancing investment in regenerative ag
  • Conduct interviews with [10-20] private investors including existing funds, family offices, HNWI, and institutional investors. TNC will provide a lists of priority interviews with the expectation that qualified candidates will supplement that list with their own network.
  • Provide summary of findings and recommendations as well as raw notes or interview records in a TNC-provided data room.

Task 2: Develop assessment of corporate procurement interest in regenerative agriculture.

  • Develop interview methodologies to assess corporate procurement sourcing standards for agriculture commodities. Interviews should seek to understand:
    • Current sourcing standards for for food, fiber, and fuel commodities (corn, soy, wheat, cotton)
    • Awareness and depth of knowledge of regenerative systems vs conventional or organic approaches
    • Perspective on preference for regenerative practices vs other sustainable approaches (organic, water-smart etc)
    • Current approach to managing scope-three emissions from ag-commodity supply chain
    • Perspective on non-financial incentives for regenerative sourcing, such as risk mitigation or consumer demands
    • Current or planned sourcing standards that incentivize or require regenerative ag practices
  • Conduct interviews with [5-7] commodity purchasers. TNC will provide a priority list of interviews.
  • Provide summary of findings and recommendations as well as raw notes or interview records in a TNC-provided data room.

Task 3: Assess current TNC regenerative agriculture initiatives and identify opportunities where there is the highest level of overlap between TNC’s priorities and investor interest.

  • With TNC staff, review existing regenerative ag programs that are relevant to investment or business-oriented initiatives.
  • Based on results of interviews, additional research and conclusions drawn in the report deliverable (see below), recommend which existing TNC programs NatureVest should focus on to accelerate private investment in regenerative agriculture.
  • Recommend other approaches TNC has not yet considered.

Essential Deliverables

  • Brief report summarizing interview responses and insights derived from those responses, focused on opportunities and barriers for private investment in regenerative ag and adopting procurement standards that incentive regenerative ag practices.
  • Recommend prioritization of existing TNC initiatives, along with recommendations of new initiatives TNC should consider, to accelerate private investment in regenerative agriculture

Desired Qualifications

The successful respondent firms or individuals will demonstrate their expertise in the field, will describe a work plan that achieves the desired outcomes and demonstrates a clear plan for communication and collaboration towards desired outcomes with TNC partners.

  • MBA in Finance, Entrepreneurship, Agribusiness, or equivalent work experience
  • Minimum of 5 years’ experience in private equity, venture capital, or M&A finance
  • Specific experience with, knowledge of, and network within the agriculture sector
  • Demonstrated experience with human centered design approaches to gathering insights a plus


  • Compensation will be determined by a competitive bidding process to determine a fixed price for the contract.
  • Payment schedules will be tied to completion of deliverables.

Application/Submission Requirements

Consultants are required to submit one electronic project package (PDF format preferred) including the following:

  • Statement of Qualifications and relevant previous experience.
  • A breakdown of the scope of services and summary of costs, including individual costs for each task provided.
  • A workplan that achieves the desired outcomes of investable transaction structures, and plan for communication and collaboration towards the desired outcomes.
  • If applicable, an organizational chart showing team members and any applicable subcontractors.

Note: Proposals should be received by TNC no later than 23 July 2021, at 5:00pm and sent directly to Jacob Davis, at Final selection is expected by the first week of August, 2021.

Anticipated Timeline:

  • RFP released: 7/14/2021
  • Proposals Due: 7/23/2021
  • Consultants Selected: 8/4/2021
  • Fall: Mid-point review: 10/21/2021
  • Winter: Deliverables completed: 1/8/2022

About the Nature Conservancy

Founded in 1951, the Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. One of our core values is our commitment to diversity. Therefore, we strive for a globally diverse and culturally competent workforce. Working in 79 countries and territories, including all 50 United States, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.

About NatureVest

NatureVest is the in-house impact investing team at The Nature Conservancy, working with our colleagues and conservation collaborators around the world to source and structure investment products that support TNC’s mission at scale. Our team has helped TNC and its partners originate, structure, fund and close investment vehicles representing more than $1.3 billion of committed capital.

Contact: Jake Davis, Director, Investment Origination,

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