Cole Martin is the lead ESG research analyst for the food products, beverages and food retail staples industries. Previously, he spent over 10 years as a researcher and forecaster covering food, agribusiness and agricultural commodity prices at Fitch Group and BMI Research. Cole has a master’s degree in international public policy from UCL and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Western Ontario. He is also a CFA® charterholder.
Research and Insights
Articles by Cole Martin
The Potential Impact of El Niño on Sovereign Debt6 mins read Blog | Sep 18, 2023 |
With a very strong likelihood of an El Niño event forming by the end of 2023, we take a look at the impact such events have had in the past on the debt-to-GDP ratios of global sovereigns and what this could mean for impact investors.
The Fight Between Food and ForestsPodcast | Aug 4, 2023 |
Commodities like palm oil, beef and cocoa are intertwined with deforestation. The EU wants to change this. We talk about the bloc’s latest law and how it’s going to ask food companies to take supply chain due diligence and traceability to a whole new level.
The Shrinking Colorado RiverPodcast | Apr 14, 2023 |
The Colorado river is shrinking and the tens of millions of Americans that rely on the water source are having to deal with the possibility of imposed water cuts. The urban sprawls that have peppered the desert are also in competition with the industries that operate in the area and use the water from the Colorado river: agriculture, semiconductors, and energy. In this week’s episode we discuss what happens when companies no longer have access to the water they need to operate.
CRISPR Comes to ESGPodcast | Jan 6, 2023 |
This week we discuss new advances in gene editing techniques and Meta’s USD 400 million fine.
High Water Stress Exposure May Exacerbate Grain-Price Volatility2 mins read Quick Take | Aug 29, 2022 |
This summer’s prolonged hot, dry weather may be a sign of longer-term water stress and grain-price volatility. Food and grocery companies, with high exposure to this issue and low current return on assets, may be under the greatest pressure.
Labor Ignores and La Nina ThreatensPodcast | Aug 5, 2022 |
The S of ESG has become more useful in understanding company performance in down times. When things are bad, companies that take care of their workers, for example, often perform better than their counterparts. We discuss why this might be by looking at growing job vacancies in some parts of the US economy. Then we discuss what could happen to the food system if the rare “triple-dip” La Nina, an atmospheric and oceanic phenomenon, happens this winter.
Children in the Cocoa FieldsPodcast | Mar 11, 2022 |
We begin this episode with an update on the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. Western companies have begun an exodus from Russia as sanctions and atrocities mount. Yet, some are deciding to stay. The decision behind why is ultimately one that can be explained by examining their board of directors. We do this, with a focus on one of company specifically: Danone. Then, we discuss the growing problem of child labor in cocoa harvesting. And the attempt by Nestlé to use money and enhanced mapping technology to combat its prevalence. It sounds bleak, but it is a great story about how technology is allowing for better transparency in our world's supply chain.
Labor Strikes and Labor RightsPodcast | Jan 28, 2022 |
A labor strike ends at Kroger after contract negotiations give the employees a wage increase. But Kroger is supposed to be a decent employer, so what is going on here? Is this all due to the great resignation or renegotiation or restructuring of labor caused by pandemic? Or is there something deeper? We answer all these (floating) questions. Then, we discuss how a new EU proposal to ensure that people working through digital labor platforms can enjoy the labor rights and social benefits they are entitled to is linked to the Kroger strike.
BHP Eschews Oil for FarmingPodcast | Aug 20, 2021 |
The largest mining company in the world, BHP Group, has made three massive moves this week. First, it said it would sell its oil and gas operations to oil and gas company Woodside Petroleum in exchange for shares that it will distribute to its own investors. Second, it approved a 5.7 billion USD investment to build a massive new potash fertilizer mine in Canada called the Jansen potash project. And third, it will collapse it’s dual listing across London and Australia and focus only on its Australia listing. We discuss the first two moves and what they mean for the global fight to reduce carbon.