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Why farmland now? Amidst unprecedented market volatility

Why farmland now? Financial markets are responding to the current limited visibility and uncertainty, both severely exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, by retreating towards safe haven investments such as U.S. treasuries (where yields have declined below 1%), gold and certain currencies (e.g. the U.S. dollar). A compelling alternative prior the virus outbreak, and made more so by coronavirus, is farmland. Farmland has a history of exhibiting unique value durability and income levels through economic downturns.…

Hands-free lettuce cultivation is the future?

“This is what we call hands-free cultivation ,” says Anthony Umina, managing member of Fresh Local Produce, when showing his newly realised fully automated growing system in Hudson, Ohio. Fresh Local Produce of Ohio started their production of fresh baby lettuce in a 2 acre greenhouse this February and their produce can already be found on the shelves of several grocery stores in the area. Fresh Local Produce is selling under the brand “Free! Leafy Greens”. This North American project was completed…

Italy and the Wuhan virus – the real story – from an Italian writer

ITALY’S COMMUNISTS A RECIPE FOR DISASTER Giacomino Nicolazzo is one of Italy’s most beloved writers.  Born and raised in Central Pennsylvania, he lives in a small village in Lombardy where he writes his books. Montecalvo, Lombardy, Italy. As I sit here in my involuntary isolation, it was just reported that overnight 743 more people died and 5.249 new cases have been reported. This brings the total cases of infection to 69,176 and the body count to 6,820. We take relief in knowing that 8,326…

China’s Swan Song

After emerging in Wuhan the Covid-19 virus has turned global trade on its head by disrupting critical supply chains from China to international markets in a classic example of ‘force majeure’ which the Oxford Dictionary defines as a legal term for “Unforeseeable circumstances that prevent the fulfilment of a contract or disrupts business as usual”. The health emergencies Covid-19 has caused across the globe are accurately described by Oxford’s alternate definition of “Irresistible compulsion or…

Covid-19 offers an odd glimpse of a new future

Covid-19 is certainly not going to change the world forever, but it is going to change quite a few things, in some cases for a very long time. Here is some of them. 1. The clean air over China’s cities in the past month, thanks to an almost total shutdown of the big sources of pollution, has saved twenty times as many Chinese lives as Covid-19 has taken. (Air pollution kills about 1.1 million people in China every year.) People will remember this when the filthy air comes back and will want something done…

Coronavirus legal alert: Disruptions to Contracts and the Mining Equipment, Technology and Services industry

Interesting times from a legal perspective! With the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak continuing to unfold across the globe, the METS industry (Mining Equipment, Technology and Services ) has not been invulnerable to the effects of the pandemic, as global supply chains and other commercial agreements are subject to great pressure. Many of our clients in the METS industry have already approached us regarding some of the potential legal impacts of the pandemic, with one of the key concerns that industry players…

As Coronavirus Spreads, Bears and Fear Infect the Commodity Markets

Coronavirus continues to be a black swan hitting the markets, with both the stock market and commodity market getting hit hard on Monday. The Dow was on pace to have its worst day in two years. The number of cases outside of China shot up over the weekend, and the World Health Organization (WHO) even acknowledged the world is not ready for the virus’ global spread. DuWayne Bosse of Bolt Marketing says the main factor driving down prices on Monday is uncertainty. “Markets hate uncertainty, especially…

Avison Young invests in Valuation & Advisory business for Latin America operations

Max Gill and Michelle D’Artigues join as Principals in Mexico City, continue partnership to grow business line for the region Max Gill and Michelle D’Artigues join as Principals in Mexico City, continue partnership to grow business line for the region Mexico City, MX – Emile Sarraf, Avison Young Principal and Managing Director of the firm’s Mexico City office, today announced the appointment of Max Gill and Michelle D’Artigues as Avison Young Principals. Gill and D’Artigues,…

Five Entrepreneurial Lessons I Learned Growing Up On A Farm

“The ultimate goal of the farm is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.”—Masanobu Fukuoka On July 31, 1951, I was born on a farm in a faraway place called New Zealand. Today I run a Real Estate business in the heart of South America called “Gateway to South America“. For many years, I ran away from my farm-life upbringing because I thought it had no place in this business, but over time, I’ve come to embrace some of my farm-boy ways to a competitive…

Understanding International Family Offices as an alternative source of investment capital

The role of the family office has often been misunderstood, even though the concept has been around (in a variety of forms) for hundreds of years. Still today, as this industry controls billions of dollars in assets under management, there are many intelligent, experienced finance professionals who cannot offer a complete definition of what a family office is exactly. Today, the family office industry is expanding at an impressive pace, with new family offices opening every month and assets continuing to…

The six biggest trends in global agriculture

The agricultural sector undoubtedly has its challenges; the impact of over taxation, increasing input costs, drought, waste, plastics, energy sourcing, labor, over-processing and methane emissions just to name a few. Equally, however, there are also many opportunities. So, what are some of the exciting trends we are seeing in agriculture today? Below I highlight six trends that we have identified, providing interesting insights into the rapid change underway in the sector and the potential investment opportunities…

” Open veins of Latin America” A must read for anyone thinking of doing business or living in Latin America

This translated book begins with a foreword by left-wing writer Isabel Allende, and here is  just one quote from her  introduction of the book: “His work is a mixture of meticulous detail, political conviction, poetic flair, and good storytelling.” The translation by Cedric Belfrage merits special note. This book sings in English, and the translator has done justice to the original. A major recurring theme throughout the book is that of capital squandered by the few while the many actually producing…

The Agricultural dilemma as disruptive Technologies take hold

A September 2019 report by RethinkX, an independent think tank based in London and San Francisco, predicts major disruption in food and agriculture over the next decade. Rethinking Food and Agriculture 2020-2030, the Second Domestication of Plants and Animals, the Disruption of the Cow, and the Collapse of Industrial Livestock Farming forecasts the wholesale collapse of dairy and cattle industries by 2030 as animal protein production is replaced by “precision fermentation” (also known as synthetic biology…

Top farmland investors name South America a top place to buy, lease and manage agricultural lands for profit

  Farmers’ fields in South America are among the most prized assets in a new global market for agricultural land that has sprung up alongside soaring commodity prices. Private equity and fund managers at a farm investing conference in Geneva named South America a top place to buy, lease and manage agricultural lands for profit. “The South American marketplace is really booming along right now,” said Mark Zenuk, managing director of the $3 billion NGP Global Adaptation Partners fund. Black…

10 property tips when buying

My thoughts from 30 yrs in the real estate industry. Tip 1: Contact your broker, don’t wait for them to contact you – Good properties always sell even in a tough market. Your ability to buy the best properties that tick all of your boxes comes down to the relationships you have with the local brokers, so take the lead and make sure they always think of you first when they become aware of that perfect property. Tip 2: Buy when you can afford to buy – You will never get: (1) High growth,…
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