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Farming Crops and Blue Sky

Why do CPG brands need to pay attention to regenerative agriculture?

In this Ask the Fixer installment, three industry leaders explain why it’s critical for companies to support regenerative agriculture.

Regenerative agriculture can help reverse climate change, and consumer packaged goods brands are in prime position to make a significant impact. By building supply chains rooted in these holistic land management practices, brands can play a key role in saving the health of our planet.

But there’s more to the story. Here, three industry leaders dive deeper into the why. We posed the question: Why do CPG brands need to pay attention to regenerative agriculture?

Sara HarperSara Harper: founder and CEO, Grounded Growth

Working through this issue lets you address difficult consumer demands. Adding regeneratively grown ingredients lets a brand address four critical consumer demands at the same time:

1. Transparency in the supply chain. To do regenerative right now, you need to work directly with farmers, which means you will actually know who is providing a key ingredient and be able to share that positive story with consumers.

2. Better quality or healthy ingredients. Research is showing that regenerative practices on the farm are linked to more nutrient dense ingredients.

3. Proof of doing good versus claims that it might. Having a “purpose” isn’t enough anymore. Today’s consumers want to see the proof behind it. With outcomes-based data from regenerative farms, CPG brands can give it to them.

4. Giving consumers a real way to fight climate change. Regenerative farming is a shift away from “do no harm” to “do a lot of good”. It actually fights climate change instead of contributing to it.

Ryan Lindsay: co-founder, REP ProvisionsRyan Lindsay

Regenerative agriculture principles combined with holistic decision making can offer solutions to stave off the worst of our environmental and societal maladies. Switching to these principles and decision-making frameworks will need to be swift as we increasingly suffer the ill effects of mechanical thinking and improper management of our ecosystems. New knowledge and insights from pioneers in the world of agriculture and conservation have paved a proven path to restore what has been lost.

Today, we have the opportunity to take hard-learned lessons of the past and translate them into business practices of the future. Those brands that incorporate such deep intentionality into their foundation will be rewarded with unwavering consumer loyalty.

Robyn O'BrienRobyn O'Brien: vice president, rePlant Capital

Right now, our food system is broken. About 1% of U.S. farmland is organic, and we’ve designed an operating system heavily dependent on chemical inputs. There is a need for a new operating system when it comes to our food, recognizing that our most valuable inputs are human capital, soil and water.

Regenerative agriculture focuses on reinvigorating a food economy that is diverse and polycultural, supporting the regeneration of specialty crops and produce, not only healing the soil, but also serving as a powerful carbon sink that can help tackle our climate crisis. By switching to regenerative, organic operating systems, not only is the food industry addressing the needs of the 21st century consumer, but it also helps to rebuild soil’s vitality, allowing it to serve as a more effective tool to capture carbon. To manage this transition successfully will require metrics and definitions around “regenerative” for it to merit the value it serves and deserves.

Learn more about creating products that are convenient and sustainable for the earth at Natural Products Expo East.

Natural Products Expo EastWhat: Exploring the Paradox: How to Create Products That Are Sustainable, Healthy AND Convenient
When: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., Friday, Sept. 13, 2019
Where: Hilton, Key Ballroom

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