Regenerative farming is not a new concept. It’s an attempt to replicate natural ecosystems that allow the earth to thrive, by encouraging biodiversity. However, industrial farming practices are degrading the thin layer of topsoil that we rely on for the majority of our food production. While the requirements for certified organic farms revolve around practices that promote sustainable practices, a farm does not necessarily have to be organic certified to make the kind of impact that regenerative agriculture does.
Tenets of the regenerative agriculture movement revolve around fair trade practices, animal welfare and the climate change movement. Regenerative farming practices actually help to reduce greenhouse gases and replenish soil, all while making a positive impact on both farm workers and animals. While these practices are commonplace in smaller farms, we are seeing more large scale companies lean into the importance of this movement. We’re taking a look at 7 successful CPG brands that are taking action to support and incorporate regenerative agriculture into their products.
Annies brought this message to the forefront of their brand with the limited edition series of products, showcasing the soil that the wheat for the food was grown in. While the run of product was limited only to what could be grown from that farm, it helped capture the consumer interest and seized a valuable opportunity to educate.
Epic Provisions’ foods rely heavily on grass fed animals. Last year, the owners conducted an experiment, and purchased land that was damaged by overuse to raise bison on. In time, the land began to heal as a result of the bison’s natural activities. The company is committed to sourcing 100% grass fed bison by the fall of 2021.
Alter Eco chocolate is boldly attempting to combat deforestation in the environments where their cocoa beans are sourced. Since partnering with the Acopagro Coop to implement agroforestry (the planting of trees in farms), there have been immeasurable benefits. Regenerating the soil, preventing erosion, boosting biodiversity, and providing security for the farmers are a few, but most impressively, the planting of trees accounts for “more than 100% of the company’s carbon expenditure”.
Maple Hill Creamery is a top-selling natural yogurt brand, and heavily touts the importance of grass fed dairy products. After all, happy cows mean tastier food. But another huge benefit they’re leaning into is the effect that cows have on the soil. Planned grazing helps to regenerate soil, encourages biodiversity, sequesters more carbon which lessens the impact of emissions.
White Leaf Provisions centers its message around “Healthy Soil, Healthy Food”. The brand is entirely focused on leaving a better world for the next generation, not only by providing nourishing food at an early age, but by restoring the damage that has been done to our planet. The produce used is grown by farms which practice regenerative techniques, such as using natural compost, cover cropping, crop rotation, and low tilling.
Danone is contributing significantly to soil health research through an initiative that partners with experts in the field. The initiative strongly supports into the pillars of regenerative agriculture – restoring soil, helping farmers, and ethical treatment of animals.
Patagonia Provisions was founded with the intention of creating organic and regenerative foods. After working with Dr. Bronner’s, Rodale Institute and other organic industry leaders, the regenerative farming certification was born. Similarly to the way organic food has to go through a certification process, this cements all of the requirements for a farm to be officially recognized as regenerative agriculture. Patagonia Provisions remains at the forefront of this movement with products like their Long Root ale, which is brewed with Kernza (a perennial grain grown using regenerative agriculture practices).
Climate change is a highly discussed topic today, but seeing large scale companies proactively attempting to have a positive impact is encouraging. Consumers are invited to think further about their food choices, and make decisions based on a healthier future for themselves and the planet.