ROC is a holistic agriculture certification structure that encompasses robust requirements that uphold three pillars: 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.
“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.”
Bronner spoke aabout this topic in a Happi podcast late last year.
The following objectives are at the core of ROC, according to the coalition:
• Increase soil organic matter over time and sequester atmospheric carbon in soil, which at a global scale can help mitigate climate change.
• Model high-bar pasture-based animal welfare.
• Provide economic stability and fairness for farmers, ranchers and workers.
• Create resilient regional ecosystems and communities.
The USDA organic standard is the bedrock of the ROC; only products that are certified under the USDA organic program 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. With ROC, consumers will know that they are buying a product that addresses the environmental impacts of agriculture, animal treatment and fair and safe working conditions for farmers and farm workers. Also, since regenerative farming practices will enhance carbon sequestration, they will also be supporting the fight to mitigate climate change.
Regenerative Organic Certification was created with the intent for the standard to become adopted by companies and producers on a broad scale. There is enthusiastic interest from other brands in the food, fiber, and natural products industry to join this effort, said the group.
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 months with a small group of certifiers and producers to understand how the ROC standards can be implemented at the farm and ranch level, with the goal of having Regenerative Organic Certified products appearing on shelves within the next two years.
Additional founding members of the effort include Demeter.
The alliance will unveil additional details of ROC at Natural Products Expo West this week.