If a company pledges to source from a ‘regenerative’ farm, what does that really mean?

Read the full story at Ag Daily.

I received an email from a marketer touting the latest announcement from a well-known baking-goods company. She informed me that the company was committed to sustainability and mitigating their carbon footprint. To become more sustainable, the company pledged to source all of its wheat from farmers using regenerative production methods. Now to be fair, this was only one of several promises, but obviously it was the one that caught my attention.

So I did something absolutely crazy. I asked her how they define regenerative agriculture.

I anticipated her response. She said the company has a “fluid definition” without set standards and practices. But generally it meant more carbon in the soil and better soil health.

I agreed with her that farms shouldn’t have a one-size-fits-all approach — and I really meant it. What works for a farm in southern California won’t work for one near the beaches of Lake Michigan. The best production practices involve a calculation on a farm-to-farm basis that keeps in mind weather, soil type, seasons, and the crop involved. And most farmers are focusing more and more on healthy soils and the things they can do to promote them.

She gave me the right answer. But doesn’t that make the company’s pledge a bit wishy-washy?

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