A just-released report from the nonprofit group Forum for the Future highlights ways in which regenerative agriculture can help make the food system more resilient.

The report, titled Growing Our Future, synthesizes insights gathered through a collaborative inquiry that brought together more than 60 organizations across the food system, to explore the future of regenerative agricultural systems. Their discussions highlighted several systemic barriers to change, and resulted in a seven-point roadmap for overcoming them, which includes the following steps:

  1. Create financial mechanisms and market structures that support regenerative outcomes.
  2. Empower farmers to build coalitions at the grassroots level.
  3. Shape policy to build a resilient agricultural economy.
  4. Demonstrate the business case for regenerative practices.
  5. Engage with consumers to increase demand for regenerative products.
  6. Prioritize nutritional benefits to enable healthy diets.
  7. Mobilize landowners to enable regenerative practices to mainstream.

The report was written by a team of Forum for the Future sustainable food experts with funding from the Walmart Foundation. Barriers to change the report authors identified included finance; public health and agricultural policy systems that the authors say fail to recognize the value farmers deliver through land stewardship; mainstream supply chains that don’t support access to products from regenerative systems; and disconnection between consumers and the origins of their food.

“Regenerative agriculture has the potential to create more resilient supply chains, restore soil health, and enable farmers and businesses to thrive in an increasingly turbulent world. … COVID-19 has shown just how interconnected the key systems we rely on are and is exposing the vulnerabilities in our food supply chain,” said Lesley Mitchell, associate director—sustainable nutrition, Forum for the Future, in a press release. “By scaling the amazing regenerative practices already out there, we can have a huge impact on the major global challenges we face, but the question is how.”

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