Written By Victoria Keziah, Managing Director, Land to Market Program
As the New Year approaches, new beginnings are underway at Savory. Until now, many of us engaged in the shared goal of restoring grasslands have, appropriately, set our sights on the soil, on the grass, on our animals, and on our businesses and communities. The New Year will require us to shift our gaze upward and outward, as we invite the commercial world to participate in the regeneration of landscapes through the Land to Market program, the world’s first verified regenerative supply chain.
The program contains three key components. First is the science. The Ecological Outcome Verification, developed in collaboration with major research institutions and soil scientists, is the first methodology of its kind to be based on outcomes, not practices. In other words, rather than providing an inventory of management behavior (tilling, cover cropping, rotational grazing), it measures how the land is responding to its management as a living system. Measuring and trending key criteria such as soil health, carbon sequestration, biodiversity, and ecosystem function, the Ecological Outcome Verification gives the land a voice of its own. It will allow all of us — scientists, farmers, marketers and consumers — to better understand regeneration as a process that we have the power to foster through empirically-informed management.
Next is the supply. For the first time in Savory history, our network’s global supply of meat, dairy, wool, and leather, with its associated data, will be catalogued for ease of access by brands and retailers. These brands and retailers will then trace their sourcing to producers who are having a positive impact on biodiversity, water security, soil health and carbon sequestration. We have the support of several game-changing brands, including EPIC Provisions, Zuke’s Natural Dog Treats and Supplements, and others to be announced in 2018. Together with these brand leaders we are walking the walk toward a regenerative future for food and fiber.
Finally, the Land to Market program must share a story of positive change. Fortunately for us, it’s a story that tells itself: regenerating landscapes, thriving livelihoods, stronger communities, engaged brands and retailers, and informed consumers. Our Hubs are the heroes of this story. They are expanding their sphere of influence through Land to Market, by supporting and verifying more farms and ranches in their regions, and by forming relationships with commercial partners who wish to access proven regenerative supply. Suddenly the small are mighty — shops, restaurants, and artisanal brands will proudly wear the Land to Market badge, a sign of solidarity with their local Savory-affiliated producers.
You’ll be seeing more directly from our Hubs in the New Year. They’ll be sharing their news: of farmers engaged and empowered, of land converted, of supply placed in the hands of conscientious market partners, and of a shared commitment to the meaningful, positive change that can only emerge from the ground up. Let’s all be sure to lift our gaze with them, for good things are on the horizon.