Contact PersonJoseph Gridley
Director, Soil Association Exchange
DescriptionThe Soil Association is the charity that digs deeper to transform the way we eat, farm and care for our natural world. We want to live in a world which is in balance with nature and a future with good health and a safe climate. In order to achieve that, it is our mission to help everyone understand and explore the vital relationship between the health of soil, plants, animals and people. In practice, this means helping people connect – with each other, and with nature. We bridge diverse knowledge and skills, finding and testing solutions on the ground, using learnings to campaign for positive change, and providing support for communities to better care for each other. We operate in a number of landscapes to get a full view of the sectors we work in, and understand the factors that influence change in these spheres – including financial markets.ApproachThe Soil Association believes that farmers and foresters should be financially rewarded for managing their land in a way that protects our climate, nature and health. For too long, the cost of agroecological farming practices have been passed onto the end consumer through things like the organic price premium. However, and following the huge growth in sustainable finance opportunities, the Soil Association recently embarked on a bold new area of work get farmers and foresters financially rewarded for the ecosystem services they provide. We are exploring a variety of financial mechanisms to reward farmers including: launching preferential financial products for agroecological farmers in collaboration with banks and lenders (loans, investments, insurance etc), building a digital marketplace to help farmers trade their ecosystem services (i.e. carbon, biodiversity, water etc), and rewarding farmers with philanthropic and public money through them evidencing the public good they are delivering.