By Emily Inzero and Alex Groome
Small-scale farmers and Fair Trade are like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. They need to stick together. Just as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is nothing without a good slice of bread to start it off, Fair Trade and small-scale farmers need that basis too—healthy soil.
Healthy soil is like a good slice of bread—it’s the beginning of the sandwich—the beginning of a healthy food system. Regenerative Organic Agriculture is the slice of bread on top. It’s a holistic approach to agriculture that emphasizes the restoration of soil health and includes practices (like conservation tillage, crop rotation, etc) drawn from the experiences and traditional knowledge of small-scale farmers.
The benefits of regenerative organic agricultural practices are far reaching, including carbon sequestration, increased resiliency in the face of drought and extreme climate events and improved production. Regenerative organic agriculture completes the peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Small-scale farmers produce the majority of the world’s food on a fraction of the farmland, but they receive little government and market support. In order to cultivate a fair and healthy food system that is resilient in a changing climate, we need to stand with small farmers and support the regenerative organic agriculture practices that boost climate resilience on the farm. A global transition to regenerative organic agriculture paired with fair trade practices will cool the planet and feed the world.
Become a business that supports small farmers and the regenerative agriculture movement:
1. Fund the transition to regenerative organic agriculture. Business has an important role to play in boosting resilience in family farming communities on the frontlines of climate change. Grow Ahead is an organization that partners with value-driven businesses to develop joint-fundraising campaigns to support impactful climate resilience projects in farming communities on the frontlines of climate change. Grow Ahead’s goal is to support the global transition to regenerative organic agriculture by partnering with and supporting small-scale farmers, particularly fair trade cooperatives. Support peer to peer capacity building and training programs, lend for farmer-driven resiliency projects and sponsor scholarships for farm leaders to share and multiply their knowledge in their local communities. More reasons to partner with Grow Ahead >
2. Raise awareness and educate your customers and employees. Regenerative organic agriculture is a new movement and a growing trend in the United States, but it may still be less known in your network. By educating your customers and employees, you’re creating a discussion in the community which can help cultivate support for a more resilient food system
3. Support policy incentives for regenerative organic agriculture and hold policymakers accountable. It’s great to take small steps within your own business, and then continue to support governmental policies that support environmental change and fair trade. There are six states immersing themselves into new policies that support the regenerative agricultural movement. Ask your local policymakers to step up!