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Report: Regenerative Agriculture Key to Decarbonization

Plant growing in soil

Food systems account for one-third of annual greenhouse gas emissions, contribute to biodiversity loss, and account for 70 percent of freshwater withdrawals, reports Ethical Corporation Magazine, a part of Reuters. Companies are supporting farmers in their pursuit of regenerative agricultural practices to help minimize the industry’s negative impacts.

The report notes that, although lacking a scientific definition, regenerative agriculture is characterized by a farming approach that minimizes water and chemical use, prevents land degradation, and improves soil, water, and biodiversity. According to a recent report titled Future Fit Food and Agriculture from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the Food and Land Use Coalition, and We Mean Business, regenerative agriculture could halve the food system’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

One company that is supporting these practices is ingredients supplier OFI, which targets smallholder farmers. The supplier drafts a shortlist of practices the farmers can prioritize to have the biggest impact.

“We want to ask farmers which two or three of all the potential methods are the most relevant to them, and will help them to gain efficiency, reduce cost and their environmental footprint. These are the ones that we’re going to provide training and support for,” said Piet van Asten, head of sustainable product systems at OFI. 

Additionally, Nestle runs agricultural programs with its farmers by piloting regenerative methods to find which have the most success. Its Nespresso coffee brand is testing a micro insurance policy to protect harvests that fail due to climate change or if yields temporarily fall while the farm is introducing regenerative agriculture practices, said Owen Bethell, Nestle's environmental impact lead global public affairs, during a recent webinar hosted by World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the Food and Land Use Coalition. Full Story (Subscription Required)