OF&G have published a new policy paper setting out why organic is the benchmark for advanced regenerative farming and including a graphic to highlight how organic delivers the best of advanced regenerative agriculture, in terms of scale and extent of change delivered. This was produced to coincide with Groundswell which heavily featured regenerative farming.
As most people are already aware, Regenerative farming is gaining traction, which is great news. The organic movement, with its decades of experience, its dedicated farmers, its proven practises, and markets is the vanguard of this change. Organic has delivered and does deliver on all the aspects so enthusiastically espoused by the ‘new’ regenerative movement.
The concern regarding regenerative is that without clear standards many vested interests will want to make their own laws and oversee them as well. The proverbial ‘gamekeeper and poacher’.
That is why we need organic. It sets the standards by which others can be judged and has autonomy of oversight. It is that which is ultimately the test for integrity and veracity by which systems should be judged. It is this autonomy that safeguards our food systems.
So why is organic advanced regenerative farming? Well let’s look at what practices Agroecology, Permaculture and Regenerative farmers do that organic farmers can’t do? There aren’t any.
What if we turn the same question around, what can Agroecology, Permaculture and Regenerative farmers do that organic farmers can’t do? They can use synthetic fertilisers and pesticides while organic farmers can’t; they can use GMOs and GE, organic farmers can’t; they can use antibiotics prophylactically, organic farmers can’t; they can keep animals indoors permanently, organic farmers can’t.
Agroecology, Permaculture and Regenerative farmers can set their own rules and be judged against which ever measure they prefer, organic farmers can’t.
And when we talk about the food system Agroecology, Permaculture or Regenerative food manufacturers can do whatever want to, organic food manufacturers can’t. Organic food manufacturers have to abide by the organic standards.