The Regenerative Agriculture Revolution
Regenerative agriculture offers one of the greatest opportunities to help Europe address human and climate health, along with the financial well-being of farmers.
The Regenerative Agriculture Revolution is a series of activities whose overall aim is to help farmers and agrifood businesses adopt more regenerative farming practices and raise public awareness about the important health, environmental and economic benefits of eating regeneratively produced food.
Reports from leading organisations, such as FAO, IPCC, and EAT Forum, state the fundamental importance of transitioning to more regenerative agriculture methods if Europe is to meet its climate change targets, food security needs, protect our farmland and build a healthier food system. Current mainstream farming methods are resulting in the loss of fertile soil and biodiversity. According to Maria-Helena Semedo of the FAO, the world could run out of topsoil in about 60 years if we continue at current rates of soil destruction. This affects the earth’s ability of food production, water filtering and carbon absorption. We will not only suffer serious damage to public health due to a qualitatively degraded food supply characterised by diminished nutrition, but we will literally no longer have enough arable topsoil to feed ourselves.
In fact, our present agricultural system is a major contributor to the emissions of greenhouse gases. The IPCC states in its latest report on climate change that 24% of the total global GHG emissions are directly related to agricultural production. However, regenerative agriculture sequesters carbon from the atmosphere and has the potential to reverse climate change instead of contributing to it. Without protecting and regenerating the soil on our 4 billion acres of cultivated farmland, 8 billion acres of pastureland, and 10 billion acres of forest land, it will be impossible to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius or halt the loss of biodiversity.
But there is a solution and it lays right beneath our feet. Regenerative Agriculture restores the natural rhythm of our ecosystems, reviving landscapes for generations to come. The secret lies in the soil. Unlike depleted soils, healthy, organic topsoil retains water, recycles nutrients, and stores carbon. By working with nature, we can produce more nutritious food, more resilient crops, and less wasted water. What is more, we could stop or even reverse climate change. If the world’s soils stored just 0.4% more carbon every year, it could offset all human C02 emissions.
Regenerative Agriculture gives us the chance to improve food quality, protect farmers’ livelihoods, and safeguard the land we depend on. It is a profitable, sustainable system that makes sense for farmers and food-lovers alike.
Find out more and join the regenerative agriculture revolution.
To help bring about the Regenerative Agriculture Revolution in Europe, we are focussing our efforts in three key areas:
Supporting European farmers to transition to regenerative agriculture
EIT Food offers innovative farmers in Southern and Eastern Europe a comprehensive training program that helps them learn about and then apply the principles of regenerative agriculture on their farms.
If you are a farmer and want to get involved, please click on the "I am a farmer" section on the top right of this page for information on our training courses.
Helping the public see the benefits for their health and planet of regenerative agriculture
For farmers to adopt regenerative agriculture it is essential that the European public understand and appreciate what they are doing and how it benefits the environment and our health. Through powerful storytelling, compelling research and beautiful videos, we will explain the connection between healthy soils, healthy plants, healthy people and healthy planet.
To see our latest work in this area, please check our blog.
Working with agrifood companies to transition their supply to regenerative agriculture
The full potential of regenerative agriculture will be achieved when agrifood companies change their food sourcing strategies. EIT Food is working closely with its partners and other agrifood business to help train producers in their supply networks and design procurement strategies that encourage the adoption of regenerative farming practices.
If your company is interested in transitioning to regenerative agriculture, please get in touch.
Impact to date
- 14 regenerative agriculture training sessions organized in Spain, Portugal, Italy and Poland
- 280 farmers trained
- 75 farmers enrolled in our 3-year advisory program across 4 European countries
- Soil health and biodiversity baseline measurements taken on 75 farms in Spain and Portugal
- 6 videos produced about regenerative agriculture and the pioneers who are making it happen. Available on YouTube.
- 5 chapters of the Regenerative Agriculture Manual available online to farmers, a crop specific guidebook on how to implement regenerative practices
- 3 research projects with EIT Food partners in which we are analyzing the nutrient density of regenerative produce as well as the connection between regenerative farming practices, soil health and human health.