Announcing reNature’s new strategic advisors: Marcello Brito and Christine Gould
Published on: April 29, 2020
Marcello Brito: Driving financial remuneration for regenerative practices
Marcello Brito’s participation in the advisory team will greatly enhance the reach of reNature’s Brazilian agribusiness actions. With his vast skill set and experience in CSR & sustainability, Marcello will support reNature in achieving the goal of regenerating 1 million hectares of land worldwide through agroforestry by 2030. He understands this goal as completely plausible; in the agricultural sector, it is customary to prove the best production strategies in practice with solid, clear evidence. These results leave no doubt for the producer about the most efficient and profitable path for their business. The successfully incorporated techniques are then usually replicated and multiplied among the different producers of the most varied crops, making the relevant adaptations.
Marcello Brito considers reNature’s goal of helping thousands of farmers in the transition to regenerative agriculture in Brazil to be very realistic. This goal considers that agroforestry, as well as other models of regenerative agriculture, are already widely disseminated and known. Furthermore, these approaches have yielded successful results in the most diverse farming methods, including both agriculture and livestock. reNature’s methods have special features that can improve these existing models, in addition to enabling the implementation of agroforestry where the concept does not yet exist.
How Brazil can become a sustainable ag. icon
However, even though Regenerative Agroforestry enables more sustainable practices that preserve forests, Marcello sees the effective remuneration (financial compensation) of forest assets as a key challenge for these practices to be adopted as the main means of production in Brazil. He points out two guiding questions:
- How can we adequately and profitably remunerate the maintenance of forests on a property?
- How can we compete with countries that are not legally obligated to maintain nature reserves and can plant the full extent of these properties?
In Brazil’s rural properties, the maintenance of natural ecosystems competes with agricultural production. To convince the producer or farmer that forests are profitable for their agricultural production, it is not enough for them to understand the importance of environmental services – they need to be paid to maintain these forests. Even if it takes time to recognize the financial value of forests and to make payments, Marcello points out that Brazil can become the largest icon of sustainable agribusiness in the world – if agricultural production is not linked to illegal deforestation and land-grabbing.
Marcelo views his reNature advisor role as a connection, helping to set the stage for a promising dialogue between those who develop and those who apply regenerative agricultural practices. This connection will hopefully contribute to spreading and increasing the scale of these practices so that they become the main means of agricultural production in the country.
Christine Gould: Bringing in the missing voice
With great enthusiasm, we are also very proud to announce the beginning of a new form of collaboration with our long-standing friend and partner Christine Gould. Her vast experience in the global food and agriculture sector will be of great value for reNature. Christine has worked for international corporations in the sector, together with the public sector, and also founded her own non-profit organization.
Yet, it is something else that makes her active participation in reNature’s mission special. It is what she calls: “the female factor”. It is her creativity, entrepreneurial spirit, ability to bring the right people together, and the strong belief in the power of new ideas, innovation, and collaboration.
Christine is an expert in fostering start-ups, harnessing the benefits of digitalization, and bringing forth the strengths of entrepreneurship. With TFF, she can look back at a long track record of founding and accelerating start-ups, bringing together young people and innovative actors, and creating new ideas. In a sector dominated by a few large companies and guided by older generations – the average farmer being older than 65 years – Christine has dedicated herself to bringing in a missing voice: That of the new generation. At reNature, this is what we represent.
Accelerating the impact of Regenerative Agroforestry
At reNature, Christine will be able to utilize these qualities to increase our impact, outreach, and progress. A strong believer in the power of Regenerative Agroforestry, Christine’s vision is neatly aligned with that of reNature. It is the complexity and diversity that define, not only, the strength of agroforestry, but also that of innovation and collaboration. Christine will be helping reNature to further materialize its status as a global agroforestry hub connecting relevant actors, expertise, knowledge, and experience.
Together, we can build what she calls a “glocal” solution. That is, a globally applicable approach suitable for all sorts of contexts, that taps into local knowledge and strengths catalyzing the best of both worlds. reNature’s approach to Regenerative Agroforestry has this capacity, whilst following the same principles all over the world, but being implemented in context-specific settings under close incorporation of local expertise.
Christine will also support us in creating a new narrative around Regenerative Agroforestry. Currently, still frequently perceived as a somewhat inefficient, old-fashioned “hippie” approach, it is time to demonstrate that it provides a tangible, feasible, and profitable solution, applicable to small as well as large scales and uniquely holistic in tackling our greatest challenges.
With her expertise and network in tech and digital, Christine will further strengthen our capabilities in creating services that provide holistic and highly efficient solutions for farmers. This way, we aim to accelerate our impact and showcase the success which will hopefully bring us closer to our mutual goal: Making Regenerative Agroforestry mainstream.