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Regenerative Agriculture: Opportunity, or Threat to Organic?

For decades, the term “regenerative agriculture” existed largely in the margins of the sustainable food debate. But in the last few years it has been catapulted to the heart of that debate.

Instrumental in the transition to sustainability

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) say it will be instrumental in the transition to sustainable food and farming, while EASAC, Europe’s independent science advisory group, believes it is capable of “massive transformation.” Most striking of all is the way regenerative approaches are being so enthusiastically embraced by multinational food corporations and agri-industry giants like Unilever, Danone, Nestlé and Cargill.

But what does the rapid ascendancy of regenerative agriculture mean for organic farming? Intuitively, it feels that it ought to be to organic’s advantage—especially since many consider organic itself to be intrinsically regenerative. It’s true also that parts of the organic community are already firmly on board with regenerative thinking, through schemes such as Regenerative Organic Certified in the US.