CALIFORNIA – US outdoor brand Patagonia is backing a new agriculture standard aimed ensuring soil health and ecological land management, pasture-based animal welfare, and fairness for farmers and workers. Regenerative Organic Certified (ROC) has been launched by the Regenerative Organic Alliance, a group of organisations and businesses led by Rodale Institute together with Dr. Bronner’s and Patagonia.
ROC is a holistic agriculture certification structure that encompasses robust requirements that uphold the three pillars of soil health and ecological land management, pasture-based animal welfare, and fairness for farmers and workers. It was created to model an ecological and ethical system for agricultural production that addresses the problems of factory farming, climate change, and economic injustice, locally and globally.
Only products that are certified under the USDA organic programme are eligible to meet the Regenerative Organic Certified criteria. With the requirement that farms achieve organic certification as a baseline, the Regenerative Organic Certified standard addresses next-level soil health and also adds in requirements for animal welfare and farm labor.
“Industrial agriculture and the factory farming of animals are top contributors to climate change, but these are also two practices that we can comprehensively improve through specific ecological and ethical approaches to farming. And that model, regenerative organic agriculture will bring real, immediate results,” said David Bronner, Cosmic Engagement Officer (CEO) of Dr. Bronner’s. “It’s imperative we act now to mitigate climate change. We need to shift our food production system to make regenerative organic agriculture the new model, both locally and globally.
The certification is open to anyone in any industry to adopt including brands, farmers, ranchers and certain manufacturing facilities. Pilot audits will launch in the coming month.
“At Patagonia, we are no strangers to leading big shifts and marketing them to customers. We know what it takes to shift supply chains and launch new certifications,” added Rose Marcario, Patagonia CEO. “Today, we are determined to help lead another big shift with regenerative organic agriculture because the future of the planet is at stake. The new certification for regenerative organic agriculture will set a high bar for brands, provide guidance to consumers and take this urgently needed movement to the next level.”
Other founding members of the ROC certification include Compassion in World Farming, Demeter, Fair World Project, Grain Place Foods, Maple Hill Creamery, and White Oak Pastures.