What is it and why does it matter?
An agricultural system that puts more back into the environment and society than it takes out. By naturally reintroducing carbon and nutrient resources back into the land, this approach can support ecosystem health, mitigate climate change, and support farmers and their livelihoods through more reliable growing yields.
This is a key focus for agenda setters who see it as a key tool to help solve the big issues of water quality, biodiversity and carbon emissions. It doesn’t come onto the radar for customers or consumers, however, it can make a brand standout, meaning communication on the issue should be focused on those in the policymaking and NGO space.
Of customers in the US say its important when choosing a supplier that they are “supporting regenerative agriculture programmes and the promotion of healthy soils”
Industrial vs Regenerative Ag
As part of the EU’s Farm to Fork strategy there will be greater emphasis put on regenerative agriculture in order to reach emissions targets for 2030. Find out more on regenerative agriculture on EIT Food.
Regenerative Agriculture is viewed as a positive, adaptable approach to enable the development of a sustainable food system. If mainstreamed, it would help solve the climate and biodiversity crises, while supporting sustainable livelihoods. However, there is uncertainty about its financial viability and the speed at which it can be adopted.
One US-based sustainability lead commented on the potential of Ireland owning regenerative agriculture -
“if they could really, really … collectively and systematically promote regenerative agriculture and Ireland to me, I think that could be a massive selling point”
For buyers, regenerative agriculture is not a key concern – it sits towards the bottom third of topics as important for their own business, but is deemed slightly more important when considering suppliers, suggesting customers are looking for a USP from their suppliers, and regenerative agriculture could play that role. Noticeably it scores higher in the USA, where the discussion on the topic appears to be slightly further ahead than in other markets.
As a “leadership” dimension of sustainability the language and concept of regenerative agriculture does not register with consumers, even in the most “advanced“ sustainability markets. Make sure comms around the topic are focused on thought, sustainability and operations leaders.
Agenda Setters say
Regenerative agriculture will become key in any major agricultural society. Reimagining what the land is for. Put farmers at the centre of that regenerative story as stewards of the land, making them part of the solution.
Review the headline insights from the Global Food Sustainability Outlook research.Review the Insights & Implications