Regeneration Newsroom – March 2019

Curated top stories in Regenerative Agriculture, Business, and Investing • ethansoloviev.com

Food Companies Lead, $24 Billion in Regen Ag Database,  New Soil Carbon Standard…

Want to hear the audio highlights of this month’s news? Listen to the Regeneration Newsroom Podcast, a joint venture with Investing in Regenerative Agriculture. Link

Regenerative Agriculture

Regeneration Newsroom Soil Carbon Initiative

Important: A new standard for putting carbon in the soil. The Soil Carbon Initiative is backed by Ben & Jerry’s (Unilever), Danone North America, and MegaFood, and have just released their draft standard for public feedback. Comments are due by May 5th. Link 

(Note: If you weren’t at Expo, they’re doing a webinar to describe the standard – register here)

Newly released: A comprehensive global list of regenerative agriculture, forestry, and agroforestry investment funds. I worked with Gatherlab to build this list and a larger database connected to it. $200-400 million USD are invested by explicitly “regenerative” funds; the full list covers $24 billion invested by larger climate-change and forestry organizations. See anyone we missed? Email me. Link

AppleGate makes headlines last month for their “New Food Collective”. A few links:

  1. Their press release, highlighting new products with 100% pasture-raised meat certified by the well-respected American Grassfed Association
  2. The New Food Collective website, with sexy photos of their new sausages and their take on regenerative agriculture
  3. Significantly, Applegate is committing to source 100% of their meat from Savory Land-to-Market Verified farms. Here’s their VP of impact & Mission discussing Ecological Outcome Verification in a great interview

Danone aims for carbon-neutral by 2050, takes a “one size does not fit all” approach to sustainability. Aims for “regenerative agriculture practices” – which ones? Link

US Soybean farmers touting “regenerative agriculture”… continued evidence of the rapid banalization of the term. Brought to you by the U.S. Soybean Export Council. Link

I love seeing more job postings explicitly focused on Regenerative Ag. I’d say it’s still a few years till I can host a job board… but in the meantime, if you’ve got an open position, let me know.

Muir Glen, stalwart organic tomato sauce producer (owned since 2000 by General Mills), lists “Regenerative Farming” as their top “principle”. Unclear what they mean, beyond a few basic practices that are already followed by most organic farmers… Link

From the “Soil Profits” lineage, here’s a free online class by the American Society of Agronomy – “Regenerative Agriculture: How to Work with Farmers to Improve Soil”. Interesting to note this is also sponsored by General Mills.  Link

Forbes: The Caribbean has a “Dirty” Solution to Climate Change. Surprisingly good article quoting Terra Genesis International and the leader of Walkers Reserve, a 200-acre sand mine regeneration project in Barbados. Link

Regeneration Newsroom Corn Soy No Till
Corn sprouting through no-till soy stubble. Photo courtesy NRCS

“Regenerative agriculture could save soil, water, and the climate. Here’s how the U.S. government actively discourages it.” Link

“Three Takeaways On the Nexus of Food Companies, Climate Change and Regenerative Agriculture” – A new post from the folks at the Regenerative Food Systems Investment Forum taking place this fall in Oakland CA. Nice summary of regenerative at the 2019 Natural Products Expo West earlier this month; also includes a number of statistics and quotes from my presentation on the market performance of the most regenerative food products. Link

From our Europe desk: Regenerative agriculture in Belgium. Link

Free 109-page report from the J. Walter Thompson Intelligence Innovation Group: “The New Sustainability: Regeneration”. There’s a lot in here, from Green AI to Regenerative Business. Worth a skim. Link

National Regenerative Agriculture Day, anyone? Link

This is from 2017, but worth a read as a manifesto/white-paper hybrid on carbon drawdown “Regenerate Earth” by Walter Jehne of Healthy Soil Australia. Link

Former Blue Apron CEO launches a new “regenerative agriculture” business called Cooks Venture. Here’s the press release and their website. I’ll admit I’m skeptical. Their “definition” of regenerative agriculture is weak. They tout scientific proof but don’t offer any. I definitely want to support the scaling up of regen ag, but I want it done with integrity instead of hype. Link

Regeneration Newsroom Cooks Venture
Founder of Cooks Venture

General Mills announces that they will “advance” regenerative agriculture on 1,000,000 acres by 2030. Here’s coverage from:

On a contrarian note, here’s an excellent article from AgFunder News calling into question the motives of large CPG moves on sustainability & regenerative ag. Link

And here’s another one from Grist. “Regenerative agriculture’: World-saving idea or food marketing ploy?” Link

Podcasts

Three top podcasts for this month:

Investing in Regenerative Agriculture: an interview on water & water cycles with Zach Weiss Link

Shift to perennialization in agriculture & culture – longer form interview of the Land Institute by Nori. Link

Tech accelerator seeking carbon drawdown – and other stories. From the new(ish) ‘Carbon Removal Newsroom’ (I wonder where they got the name;) Link

Regeneration Newsroom Terra Mera

Investing

Terramera snags another $10mil investment. They claim “regenerative solutions”, but it looks like they’re firmly focused on conservation – they want to reduce synthetic chemicals in agriculture by 80%. Their two main products are broad-range biocides. Link

Financing Regenerative Agriculture – London April 2019. Jeremy Grantham @ GMO, Satya Tripathi @ United Nations, and Christian Didier @ Danone. If you go, I’d love to hear a summary for the next newsletter. Link

Events

There are a lot of awesome events happening this year. I’m speaking at a few of them.

Regeneration Newsroom - Living Soil Symposium

Living Soil Symposium: March 28-31, Montreal. I’m on a panel Saturday, speaking about: 

  • Quantitative data on regeneration: How are the most regenerative products performing in the marketplace?
  • Comparing and contrasting the new ‘regenerative’ standards and certifications that have popped up this year
  • How can we reconcile local food systems, transparency, and blockchain technology in an age of online shopping and eroding consumer trust?

Transform: Climate, Capital, Communities – Regenerative Agriculture, Investing, and more. From the folks who started SOCAP and built it into a behemoth. I’m hosting a panel Regen Ag Investing, plus a private gathering for investors. Link

Other save-the-dates for 2019:

  • Natural Products Expo East: September 11-14
  • SOCAP 2019: October 22-25
  • Regenerative Earth Summit: October 28-30
  • Regenerative Business Summit: November 12-14

Ethan Soloviev’s big-picture interpretation of this month’s news:

Companies are leading the move towards regenerative agriculture. Other food movements (e.g. organic, Biodynamic) have been pushed forward primarily by farmers and consumers. They grew more slowly, with grassroots organizing and farmer-led furor, slowly building alliances with small food companies and local retailers. Eventually larger companies began buying up smaller organic brands, using acquisitions to get ahead of consumer demand.

So far, the story is unfolding differently for regenerative agriculture. Starting in 2016, food companies have been more active than farmers in promoting regen ag. Consumers seem to be almost left in the dust, wondering, “WTF is this new term?!?” just as they were getting used to “organic.” 

Not-for-profits have played a role in catching up consumers, especially Kiss the Ground, the Rodale Institute, and At the Epicenter. But their primary focus (and funding?) seems to be CPG companies, who are clearly (based on this month’s news) leading the way.

Companies doing the work that citizens and farmers have done in other movements leads to several interesting dynamics. One is the danger of marketing hype overpowering on-the-ground impact (highlighted in the Grist and AgFunder articles). Another is that product-creating businesses are investing big bucks to help “train” and “educate” farmers in the methods they want them to use. It remains to be seen if this approach will generate real improvement in soils, ecosystems, or farmer livelihoods – I am hopeful that it can, but wary of the many pitfalls on the path.

                           – Ethan Soloviev

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5 Replies to “Regeneration Newsroom – March 2019”

  1. Hey, how’s it going?

    I want to pass along some very important news that everyone needs to hear!

    In December of 2017, Donald Trump made history by recognizing Jerusalem as the captial of Israel. Why is this big news? Because by this the Jewish people of Israel are now able to press forward in bringing about the Third Temple prophesied in the Bible.

    The Jewish people deny Jesus as their Messiah and have stated that their Messiah has been identified and is waiting to be revealed. They say this man will rule the world under a one world religion called “spiritualism”.

    They even printed a coin to raise money for the Temple with Donald Trumps face on the front and with king Cyrus'(who built the second Temple) behind him. On the back of the coin is an image of the third Temple.

    The Bible says this false Messiah who seats himself in the Third Temple will be thee antichrist that will bring about the Great Tribulation, though the Jewish people believe he will bring about world peace. It will be a false peace for a period of time. You can watch interviews of Jewish Rabbi’s in Israel speaking of these things. They have their plans set in place. It is only years away!

    More importantly, the power that runs the world wants to put a RFID microchip in our body making us total slaves to them. This chip matches perfectly with the Mark of the Beast in the Bible, more specifically Revelation 13:16-18:

    He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

    Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.

    Referring to the last days, this could only be speaking of a cashless society, which we have yet to see, but are heading towards. Otherwise, we could still buy or sell without the mark amongst others if physical money was still currency. RFID microchip implant technology will be the future of a one world cashless society containing digital currency. It will be implanted in the right-hand or the forehead, and we cannot buy or sell without it! We must grow strong in Jesus. AT ALL COSTS, DO NOT TAKE IT!

    Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.” (Revelation 14:9-11).

    People have been saying the end is coming for many years, but we need two key things. One, the Third Temple, and two, the technology for a cashless society to fulfill the prophecy of the Mark of the Beast.

    VISIT http://WWW.BIBLEFREEDOM.COM TO SEE PROOF FOR THESE THINGS AND MUCH MORE! TELL YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY. SHARE THIS MESSAGE!

  2. I like what you guys are up also. Such intelligent work and reporting! Carry on the excellent works guys I have incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it’ll improve the value of my site :).

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