Ali Partovi: “The Real Reason Organic Costs More”

Farmland LP investor and partner Ali Partovi recently spoke at the New York Times’ Food For Tomorrow conference and his topic was…us!

Thanks, Ali, for the recognition! We heard from one of the attendees that Ali “brought down the house…both because of his knowledge and passion around the topic, and because of his personal background and cred.”

Invited to the conference by food writer Mark Bittman, Ali, dubbed a ‘Top Silicon Valley Angel‘ by the San Jose Mercury News, was asked to share the Silicon Valley perspective on food challenges in the 21st century. Farmland LP is Ali’s “favorite investment” because of the way our sustainable agriculture model marries efficiency with scalability and therefore has the capacity to “change the world”.

After his presentation, Ali told me that what struck a cord with people was his explanation for the real reason organic food costs more. In fact, said Ali,”it costs less money to produce food sustainably”; its higher price is simply because supply is much lower than demand. One of his slides used USDA data to show how the 1% of U.S. farmland that is certified organic is not keeping up with the 4.4% of the total U.S. spending on organic food. The price of organic food is higher because the demand is outstripping supply, even though organic production methods (especially our rotation system) are less costly for farmers.

Food for Thought – Ali Partovi   YouTube

Indeed, crop and livestock rotation, where the ‘output’ of grazing livestock becomes ‘input’ as fertilizer on land that will eventually turn into crops, is a more efficient method of farm management. Our multi-tenant approach addresses many additional pain points not served by today’s prevailing agricultural system, including the high cost of land for the next generation of farmers, unmet consumer demand for organic food, environmental degradation, energy-intensive globalization and declining animal welfare and human health.

Every day we’re showing that Ali is right – that sustainable agriculture at scale is a better and more profitable system, and can change the world. It is investors like Ali who share the vision that keep us going.