“We’re on the right path, but the truth is, we’re on the verge of another farm crisis … It’s an economic crisis—net farm incomes have decreased by 50 percent since 2013—it’s really scary. Also, a crisis of attrition, where our farmers are aging out and retiring—the average age is 58; farmers over 65 outnumber farmers under 35 6-to-1—and that means the land they are farming is about to transition.”
—Sophie Ackoff, National Young Farmers Coalition
- Brands must help farmers find complementary products and markets to drive the transition to regenerative agriculture, or small farms will go out of business.
- Lakota Sioux found 100 uses for each animal they slaughtered. “We need to go back to that kind of thinking,” says Birgit Cameron of Patagonia Provisions.
- A brand must know every step in its supply chain or it won’t have a regenerative agricultural supply chain. “You will never know what’s happening on the farm,” says Edward Siemek of Pipeline Foods, which is dedicated to creating sustainable supply chains in agriculture.
- Having access to farmland is the No. 1 challenge for young people who want to farm. Another is that would-be farmers are constrained by student-loan debt, says Sophie Ackoff of the National Young Farmers Coalition.
This session—Building Bridges Between Farmers and Brands—The Brand Toolkit: Processes and Tools to Support a Value-Added Supply System—was recorded at Natural Products Expo West 2019. Click "download" below to access the presentation slides.