Sustainability-linked loans: banking on a sustainable food system

In 2020, Swedish oat milk brand Oatly became the world’s first plant-based company to enter into a sustainability-linked loan agreement (SLL). Today, an SLL – that incentivises sustainability performance by having flexible interest rates linked to sustainability outcomes – is more popular than a green loan and is fast becoming an essential ingredient of a post-pandemic food system.

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Metagenomics: mapping the mysteries of soil

A typical teaspoon of agricultural soil contains more than a billion living organisms. This biodiversity plays a key role in the ability of soil to support plant life, including agricultural crops, although identifying and counting soil microbes is an incredibly difficult task. But as the FT’s science editor Clive Cookson explains, new molecular fingerprinting technology known as metagenomics is coming to the rescue.

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