Companies and governments alike came together at COP26 to address the climate crisis – but the event was widely criticized as symbolic, with participants merely hoping to score political points while frustration mounts over empty pledges and a lack of comprehensive action. Greta Thunberg, climate activist and founder of the youth climate action organization Fridays for Future, called it a “greenwashing festival”.
Modern consumers are holding companies to account for greenwashing, and lawsuits regarding false food and environmental claims are rapidly increasing. Agriculture and the global food system are enormous emitters of GHGs, and companies from Tesco to Burberry have announced sustainability commitments directly tied to regenerative agriculture in their supply systems. These kinds of pledges will only stand up to consumer scrutiny if they’re partnered with concrete steps to enhance the value chain without sacrificing ecosystems or farmer livelihoods.
This is the space that innovators are attempting to fill to protect our planet while creating value for consumers and the companies they buy from. We’re looking back at our Regenerative Supply at Scale innovation series, where leaders in the industry spoke about their strategies for tangible action, ensuring transparency, and weaving long-term regenerative agriculture solutions into their supply systems.
Long-term Investment in Regenerative Producers
Investing in regenerative producers to help them overcome barriers to regenerative agriculture helps create a secure, and future-oriented relationship between farmer and buyer.
Ensuring economic benefits for producers and consumers and harnessing the power of data is key for scaling a food system that works for everyone.
Creating Markets for Products, Not the Other Way Around
Creating markets based on farmer knowledge instead of asking them to conform to market trends encourages regenerative practices.
Strong Relationships with Producers
Building strong relationships with farmers and listening to producers who are deeply invested in the long-term health of their land and communities, are critical in moving away from an extractive perspective and toward an inclusive one.
Rethinking scale, regionality, and distribution systems are all key to making sure you don’t take one step forward and two steps back when it comes to investing in regenerative production.