The global pandemic has quickly revealed the underlying risks and inequalities in our global food system. It is more important now than ever before to address the broken food system and empower farmers. A new report released by Rodale Institute and The Plantrician Project revealed that regenerative organic farming has the ability to improve human health and is a good tool to address these growing problems. And the new Regenerative Organic Certified standard was created to uphold just that.
To qualify for the Regenerative Organic Certified (ROC) standard, farms must first hold the USDA organic certification. ROC then adds further criteria to ensure soil health, animal welfare and social fairness, making it the highest standard for organic agriculture in the world.
The Regenerative Organic Alliance (ROA), a group of experts in farming, ranching, soil health, animal welfare that formed in 2018, has announced the availability of the first ROC products, including food, fiber, and personal care products, in the marketplace.
“We’re in a race against climate change we can’t afford to lose. We’re proud to be ROC certified and to be among those helping to launch this vital program. As ROC states: farm regeneratively because the world depends on it,” shares Tal Johnson, CEO of Herb Pharm, one of the first organizations to earn the ROC designation.
By choosing a ROC product, consumers can know at a glance that their purchase supports farm workers, soil health and pasture-based animal welfare. The new certification also has three levels — bronze, silver, and gold. The levels require farms and businesses to phase in more rigorous regenerative organic practices over time.
“The success that these leading, regenerative organic businesses have achieved in only one year is proof that ROC is not only a viable and attainable certification, but that indeed we are shaping the future of agriculture supply chains and consumer demand for truly regenerative organic products,” says Elizabeth Whitlow, executive director of the ROA.
Consumers can now find the first group of Regenerative Organic Certified products wherever organic products are sold. In addition, PatagoniaProvisions.com has shifted their website to now serve as the definitive e-commerce source for ROC products, ROC pilot products, and products “on the road” to becoming certified, from many different brands and product categories.
“Growing food and fiber with industrial techniques and harmful chemicals is having devastating effects on human health and the health of our planet. This type of farming degrades soil, which over time reduces our ability to grow healthy crops and contributes to the loss of topsoil and water-limited resources we can’t afford to waste. Switching to Regenerative Organic practices builds healthy soil and draws even more carbon back into the ground, turning our agricultural system from problem to solution,” explains Birgit Cameron, head of Patagonia Provisions. “There has never been a more important time to engage in our mission to save our home planet through agriculture, food and health. We have seen a groundswell of enthusiasm and support for all the farmers, ranchers, fishers and producers moving in this direction together.”
For more information, visit regenorganic.org.
Photo courtesy of Herb Pharm.