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Regenerative agriculture is paying off for brands

man holding fibres grown in field
Davines/Rodale Institute
Nov 05, 2021 By WGSN Insider

Investment in regenerative agriculture has received a further boost after a study by the Soil Health Institute found that the practices had a positive effect on profitability, yields and other farming outcomes as well as the environment.

The study, Economics of Soil Health Systems, researched 100 US crop farmers across nine states in a variety of climates who are long-term adopters of cover crops and reduced tillage. It found that soil health practices increased net income for 85% of farmers growing corn and 88% growing soybeans. 67% of farmers reported increased yields.

man holding seeds

The findings offer evidence that investment will pay off as businesses across industries seek to adopt regenerative practices in response to growing consumer demand.

Regeneration rising

In the food sector, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s latest study, The Big Food Redesign: Regenerating nature with the circular economy, said that one of the four pillars businesses needed to adopt was regeneratively produced ingredients. 

In data from the WGSN Food & Drink Influencer Map of recent food and drink topics, posts covered a range of interests, including health, meat, wine and seaweed.

"When it comes to food and drink brands addressing sustainability, agricultural ingredients are the natural starting place. Ingredient producers that adopt and convert to regenerative practices will be well-positioned to support a wide array of food and drink makers who base their brands on sustainable missions and goals"
- Kara Nielsen, Director of Food & Drink, WGSN

Cross-industry investment

Other sectors are also ramping up regenerative ag. US fashion label Christy Dawn has invited customers to invest $200 to help its farmers switch to regenerative practices in India, while beauty brand Davines Group has partnered with Rodale Institute to open a regenerative research facility in Italy.

Rodale Institute researchers
Davines/Rodale Institute researchers

How you can action this 

Regenerative ag is increasingly being seen as a key climate solution. Learn from innovators in this space and partner with organisations such as nonprofit Regenerative Organic Alliance.

WGSN subscribers can read the full Sustainability Bulletin: November 2021 here.

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