REGEN1 began with a question: could food companies make targeted purchases with enough information and trust to support an agricultural model that mitigates climate change? Finding the answer to that question has led us on an odyssey, one which is still very far from complete.
While the principles of regenerative agriculture are universal, their application is place-based, a response to local conditions that even change from farm to farm. To build a market-driven model for regenerative agriculture therefore began with choosing the right place to start. We selected Northern California; it’s home to one of the most diverse agricultural regions in the world and also features an abundance of soil scientists working on carbon sequestration and other healthy soil initiatives.
The Lexicon then gathered over a hundred domain experts across the value chain and assisted their work for over a year in a “food systems solutions accelerator” made possible with support from Food at Google. The group’s process of co-creation included everything from establishing a definition for regenerative agriculture to building supply chain tools that better support regenerative producers. An entire team focused on how to best communicate the value proposition of regenerative to consumers as part of a more connected marketplace, while others are examining how purchasers can identify and support BIPOC producers in an otherwise blind supply chain.
As the team enters its second year of work, which now focuses on developing a standard for regenerative—one respecting all existing certifications—the realization has come that a place-based model can expand to other regions around the globe. To that end, the group is now developing an adaptive framework, one guided by the principle of “appropriate scale that scales appropriately”.
We welcome you to explore REGEN1. As with all Green Brown Blue accelerators produced by The Lexicon, the work is released under a Creative Commons CC0 license. It is open source and freely available for the world to use.