In a groundbreaking move, SAI Platform has launched its 'Regenerating Together' framework, offering the agriculture and food industry a globally standardized approach to regenerative agriculture. The initiative has already garnered the commitment of over 170 members, including industry heavyweights like Nestlé, Danone, Unilever, and PepsiCo. This comes at a crucial time when the world's agricultural lands are degrading and the need for sustainable food production is more urgent than ever.
The Need for Change
With over half of the world's agricultural land in a state of degradation and a projected 70% increase in food demand by 2050, the agriculture sector is at a crossroads. Climate change alone could reduce farming productivity by up to 30%. Katharine Teague, Group ESG Director at ABF Sugar and a founding member of the Regenerating Together program, emphasized the need for a resilient, sustainable food system. She said, "By coming together, we can find workable solutions to tackle climate change, biodiversity loss, and declining soil health."
What the Framework Entails
The 'Regenerating Together' framework aims to bring about large-scale, long-term systemic changes to ensure a sustainable global food supply. Yves Leclerc, Global Director of Agriculture Sustainability at McCain, highlighted the framework's potential to provide clarity and consistency on what regenerative agriculture means and its expected outcomes. The framework focuses on four key impact areas: water, soil, biodiversity, and climate. It outlines a four-step process for implementation, including risk assessment, outcome selection, adoption of principles and practices, and progress monitoring.
The framework has received overwhelming support from over 30 agriculture cooperatives and 170 SAI Platform members. Eric Soubeiran, Vice-President Business Operations Sustainability at Unilever, stated, "This new framework brings leaders together to work towards one common commitment. We believe this framework sets a new standard for regenerative agriculture globally."
Designed for practical use at the farm level, the framework will be integrated into existing industry solutions like the European Roundtable for Beef Sustainability, the Farm Sustainability Assessment, and the Sustainable Dairy Partnership. Jo Lawrence, Senior Manager at Arla Foods, noted that the framework offers a science-based approach to regenerative farming and a way to measure its direct impact.
The FAIRR Report and the Way Forward
The launch of this framework is particularly timely, given a recent report from FAIRR that revealed while 50 major players in the agriculture and food sector acknowledge the potential of regenerative agriculture, more than half lack concrete, organization-wide objectives. Antonia Wanner, Group Head of ESG Strategy and Deployment at Nestlé, concluded, "The Regenerating Together Framework is a pragmatic tool that can help farmers transition to regenerative agriculture and will help the industry to scale-up its efforts."
The 'Regenerating Together' framework is a monumental step toward a more sustainable and resilient global food system. It not only provides a standardized approach to regenerative agriculture but also unites the industry under a common goal. With the backing of major industry players and a focus on practical implementation, the framework is poised to make a significant impact in the years to come.