Socially Responsible Impact Investing – The AgriRoots Story

AgriRoots Capital Management Inc. (AgriRoots) is an alternative lending organization focused on Canadian agricultural mortgages and positioned to be complementary lenders to traditional financial institutions. But we’re more than just equity lenders. At AgriRoots, we understand the people and the agricultural lifestyle in Canada – as well as the business sector they operate within.
We see value in having land ownership and stewardship in the hands of the farm operators – 98% of which are family enterprises. We take the time to consider the individual needs of our borrowers and then build financial strategies to help move them forward successfully. Character, capacity, and collateral are all important attributes in our deal evaluation process, and we can’t imagine any other way to serve the people that feed our country.
Founded in August 2019 by an experienced team of industry leaders in the agricultural, alternative lending, and investment industries, AgriRoots manages a rewarding investment opportunity in the agricultural space with a focus on supporting Canadian farming families along with socially and environmentally conscious farming practices.
“Before we founded AgriRoots,” says Robb Nelson, Co-founder, Director, and CEO of AgriRoots, “It was extremely challenging to find an alternative lender in the Canadian ag space. As an active mortgage broker, firsthand experience over years just made creating a lender like AgriRoots, more and more necessary – both for mortgage brokers and for the farm operators in need of financial relief.”
Continues Shawn Bustin, Co-founder, Director, and President of AgriRoots, “From the perspective of an investment that adds an ESG profile to investment portfolios, ESG best practices are embedded within the ethos of countless multi-generational Canadian farms. Stewardship, social responsibility, and good governance are, to many, farming pre-requisites. Our lending model reflects this by incorporating the character of our borrowers alongside their capacity and collateral, to create an appropriate exit strategy for them, and an impact investment opportunity for our investors.”
But traditional agricultural land value characteristics and general ESG best practices within the agricultural community are not the only reasons to invest in Canada’s agricultural sector.
We believe the landscape of Canadian agriculture is changing. Agricultural producers are looking for ways to increase the value of their products and gain increased revenues from additional refinement, packaging, or other added processes.
It is our belief that these new technologies require alternative sources of capital to optimize workflow and maximize operational output and profitability. These are particularly unique opportunities for alternative lenders since new operational processes don’t tend to add value to the land itself, generally requiring a traditional lender to refer a client to an alternative lender like AgriRoots. And, for our investors, we believe this is an important impact investing opportunity where everything from Canada’s food chain, our global exports, the agricultural sector, and individual farm and ag business operators, recognize the difference that access to this funding can make.
“I have the privilege of dealing with leading sovereign wealth funds, pensions, endowments, consultants, and family offices,” say Claude Robillard, AgriRoots Director and Founder and Principal of 43 North Group – a consulting firm focused on alternative asset classes and ESG/Impact investing. “Around the world, everybody is struggling with the same issues. Volatility used to be on the horizon, now it’s increasingly at the doorstep. Everyone is contemplating what comes after strong equity and bond markets, and how they solve for ESG. As I like to say, the map that got you here doesn’t necessarily get you out. It’s a great time to be looking at new approaches like AgriRoots. AgriRoots speaks to several themes that are in today’s headlines: Supply Chain Integrity. Food Security. ESG.”
Clearly, AgriRoots is gaining momentum. “While our mortgage portfolio continues to grow, it has been our experience that our AgriRoots investors are loyal – not only because they see the value of their investment in the targeted yield, but because they recognize the value their investment has in the Canadian agricultural sector,” adds Matthew Alexander, Co-founder, Director, and Investor Relations Manager. “Our investors regularly re-invest and refer AgriRoots to friends, family, and colleagues. We couldn’t be more excited about the future of AgriRoots and the impact we’re making.”
– Sarah Wilkins, Director of Communications