Green.Org sat down with Alex Bell, CEO of Agoro Carbon Alliance who believes sustainable farming canhave an impact on climate change. Alex’s company is taking action on a global scale to reverse the effects of climate change by decarbonizing farming and restoring carbon to the world’s soil. Agoro Carbon Alliance‘s team helps farmers around the world improve yield, quality and sustainability for the world’s key crops. They apply Yara’s global scale, world-leading crop knowledge and business common sense to create solutions that work. They apply YARA’s global scale, world-leading crop knowledge, digital farming (IoT, AI, blockchain) and business common sense to create solutions that work.
Who is Alex Bell?
Alex is always curious about the world, how it works and how it can be improved. He is passionate about understanding and solving big problems for his customers and society. He does so by identifying key success factors, while keeping the broader context in focus. He loves building teams and coaching individuals. Alex been fortunate enough to work with great people across a wide range of different sectors (farming, chemicals, trade associations, government) across several continents.
Alex, thank you for being here. Tell us a little bit about you and your background:
I am the co-founder and CEO of Agoro Carbon Alliance. I am French and American, and I live in Norway. I lead and help build a global business that’s still in its early days. We’re busy building a purpose-built agricultural-transformation, machine-engine organization. And just what does that mean, exactly? It means bringing together the scientific, agronomic farming, business, and tech skills necessary to support farmers transitioning to more regenerative modes of food production. So, fighting climate change while increasing soil health and farm profitability all at once.
What is a fun fact about you?
I have so many fun facts! I was once told by the King of Norway that I know how to eat waffles well. And that’s before I moved to Norway. I was at a reception at the Norwegian Embassy in Beijing. I had put a massive amount of sour cream and raspberry jam on my waffle – and he said, ‘Now that’s how you eat waffles!’ and I replied, ‘Yes, it is, your Royal Highness.’ I’m also passionate about rugby. I’ve played on three continents and in six countries. I am also passionate about climate change and fighting it, of course, and about food and improving its quality and nutrition.
Why do you think climate change and sustainability is such an important topic today?
Have you read the news lately? I think climate change is the single biggest threat to humanity. Full stop. The danger is real and massive. And, regardless of what we do now, it will change the way we live, the way our children live, and the way our grandchildren live. But I think that we also still have a chance to change things for the better, if we act now. And that’s what I’m passionate about. That’s what excites me about what I get to do every day, with our great farmers, our partners, and our fantastic team. We get to change the course of the future for the better. We’ve bent the curve with COVID. Now we need to bend the curve with climate change.
What do you envision your industry looking like 10 years from now?
It’s difficult to even define our industry, because you could argue that we’re in food production, or technology, as much as we’re in the business of fighting climate change. But, 10 years from now, I see us being an established leader and trusted partner for farmers seeking to improve the sustainability and profitability of their farms. I also see us as a leader in high-integrity agricultural decarbonization. Across the industry, I think that agricultural carbon will become a known and trusted source of carbon renewables. I also think that the industry as a whole will be recognized for the amount of emission reduction happening in its value chain.
What can the average person do to make a difference?
The average person can do a lot. You can support the right policies at both the community and government levels. And you can also vote with your power as a consumer, by choosing products that have a lower environmental impact. Organic products are one way of doing this, but there are also other ways to buy responsibly. And that’s a really important thing. So educating ourselves about both policies and consumer choices are huge things we can do to make a difference in our everyday lives.