Amid perennial dissatisfaction in some quarters with what is and isn’t allowed under the USDA organic standards, the term “regenerative agriculture” has been gaining traction as a way of indicating a production system that in some way surpasses or exceeds them.
Now, there’s a new third-party certification process, with an accompanying label, for farmers and ranchers wishing to market their production process as “regenerative.” “Certified Regenerative” is operated by A Greener World (AGW), which is the certifier behind other, established labeling programs, including Certified Animal Welfare Approved, Certified Grassfed, and Certified Non-GMO.
“Regenerative agriculture” can mean many different things to different people. AGW clearly spells out its own definition of the term, as reflected in its standards: “A set of planned agricultural practices that ensure the holding is not depleted by agriculture practices, and over time the soil, water, air and biodiversity are improved or maintained to the greatest extent possible.”
Most definitions of regenerative agriculture are centered on building soil carbon. AGW’s standards include that, but also go well beyond that basic requirement.
AGW’s Certified Regenerative webpage includes links to the organization’s regenerative standards, frequently asked questions about the standards, an application for certification, a directory of certified farms and products, and a chart comparing AGW’s label to other regenerative standards.