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Supply Chain
FMCG Giants, Farmer Co-ops Commit to New Global Definition of 'Regenerative Agriculture'

In an industry first, SAI Platform’s framework offers a globally aligned definition of regenerative agriculture — to which 30 agriculture co-ops and the 170-strong SAI Platform member group have already committed.

Today, the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) Platform, a leading non-profit driving global development in sustainable agriculture, launched its global framework for regenerative agriculture — providing the industry with a globally aligned approach for the transition to regenerative-agriculture practices.

With climate change set to steadily decrease the productivity of farming globally by up to 30 percent, the agriculture industry is at an inflection point. A new study by the FAIRR (Farm Animal Investment Risk & Return) network revealed that while 50 global agriculture and food giants have publicly acknowledged the potential of regenerative ag to address climate and biodiversity crises, more than half have failed to establish formal targets. An overarching challenge highlighted by the research was the absence of a universally accepted definition for “regenerative agriculture” and a lack of consensus on the specific objectives that companies aim to achieve through it.

The SAI Platform’s Regenerating Together framework and broader program unite the food and beverage industry to bring about large-scale, long-term systemic change to future-proof our global food supply while revitalizing natural ecosystems and improving the quality of farmers’ livelihoods.

The framework sees over 30 agriculture cooperatives, industry giants and the 170-strong SAI Platform member group — which includes Danone, Hershey, Kraft Heinz, Mars, Nestlé, Oatly, PepsiCo, Starbucks, Target and Unilever — commit to a global standard for regenerative agriculture. In collaboration with farmers, academia, NGOs and these businesses, SAI Platform has established an aligned approach to agriculture that aims to mitigate and adapt to the impact of climate change, improve soil health, support biodiversity, retain water in the soil and reduce its consumption; while keeping farmers’ business viability central to a just transition.

“At SAI Platform, we have a proven track record of developing industry initiatives and programs that continuously improve sustainability and deliver measurable outcomes in the agriculture sector,” said SAI Platform Director General Dionys Forster. “With our Regenerating Together program, we are proud to be driving collaboration across the food and beverage industry at what is a critical moment for the sector. Regenerative agriculture is the way forward to ensure productivity and farm ecosystem viability — we must act now and further transition towards farming practices that protect the future of our planet. We look forward to continuing to work with our members and other industry players as we build towards this common goal.”

The Regenerating Together framework is designed for practical use at farm level to drive farmers' transition to regenerative-ag practices. It will allow crops, dairy and beef farmers anywhere in the world to work with supply chain partners to achieve measurable, regenerative outcomes and enables the industry to translate the often-ambiguous concepts of regenerative agriculture into action at farm level. The framework will be integrated into SAI Platform’s existing industry solutions — including the European Roundtable for Beef Sustainability (ERBS), the Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) and the Sustainable Dairy Partnership (SDP).

“We urgently need to transition towards a more regenerative food system — for our people and our planet,” says Yves Leclerc, Global Director of Agriculture Sustainability at McCain Foods — the world’s largest manufacturer of prepared potato products, which has committed to implement regenerative ag practices across 100 percent of its global potato acreage by the end of 2030 and is even engaging consumers in the metaverse on the issue. “As Chair of the Regenerating Together Steering Committee, I am delighted that the Framework launched today will enable farmers to take action and implement regenerative practices, and crucially support the measurement and verification of progress. Having piloted the resources with our growers, I see the potential this can have to provide clarity and consistency on what regenerative agriculture means and the outcomes we are looking to achieve. The potential impact is huge and the development of this global Framework through cross-industry collaboration is a key step towards scaling the transition to more sustainable farming practices.”

Developed in consultation with farmers, academics and NGOs, the framework will assess, monitor and verify farm practices to aid the global transition towards regenerative agriculture. SAI Platform’s Regenerating Together program identifies four key areas of impact — water, soil, biodiversity and climate — and has devised four clear steps through which to enact the framework:

  • risk screening assessment

  • outcome selection

  • the adoption of principles and practices, and

  • the monitoring and assessment of progress.

“SAI Platform’s Regenerating Together program has grown from an industry recognition that we must evolve our approach to sustainable agriculture to continuously drive positive impact in our supply chains,” says Eric Soubeiran, VP of Business Operations — Sustainability at Unilever. “As individual organizations, we have set targets to implement regenerative agricultural practices; but this new framework brings leaders together to work towards one common commitment. We believe this framework sets a new standard for regenerative agriculture globally whilst providing the needed flexibility at farm level.”