Regenerative Organic Certification: The Producers Market Vision
Scaling Up our Digital Storytelling to Support the Global Regenerative Agriculture Movement
Humanity, as we know, is quite imperfect. In too many cases, people will justify the profitability and success over integrity. But we maintain hope when it comes to the Regenerative Organic Certification.
Indeed the organic certification has achieved many accomplishments. It has certainly aided in humanity’s progress toward a cleaner, more sustainable agricultural value chain. Globally, the term “organic” has become synonymous with agriculture free of harmful chemicals.
It has also led to a $100 billion global industry that continues to grow at 10% rates and higher.
But there is always another side. As the practice of “organic” has come to thrive, we have unfortunately sacrificed much of the essence of the original concept. This is the name of the commercialism game. The price premiums on organic products have led many industry participants—farmers, processors, distributors, and brands—to “innocently” cut corners in following the prescribed practices.
In some cases, the potential for profit has led to practices that can’t even be passed off as innocent. Sometimes they are blatant fraudulent use of the certification and label. Why does this happen?
There is a general lack of third party oversight. This, along with the inability to validate the practices of producers and the contents of their certified products, leaves the door open for people to act of their own legal, moral and ethical accord.
All Organic Is Not Created Equally
Many organic producers employ practices such as permaculture, biological corridor restoration, biodynamic farming, agroecology, community development, and enhanced worker welfare. And plenty do not. And yet, the same certification of “organic” is accessible to many producers who justify a premium pricing model.
Organic is a word that encompasses many practices, or lack of them. What’s missing then? The stories. Very few producers have the marketing abilities necessary to tell their story and gain consumer trust.
Agriculture may be the greatest solution to combat climate change. However, to do so we must consumer desire for it to be so with marketing and certification that can be trusted.
Enter the Regenerative Organic Certification
“We exist to heal a broken system, repair a damaged planet, and empower farmers and eaters to create a better future through better farming.
By adopting regenerative organic practices on more farms around the world, we can create long-term solutions to some of the biggest issues of our time, including the climate crisis, factory farming, and fractured rural economies.”
—Regenerative Organic Certification (ROC)
Amazing! I personally align fully with this intention—as does our Producers Market team, and millions of others out there.
There is a clear definition and track to becoming Regenerative Organic.
As a consumer, if I see Patagonia with a Regenerative Organic Certification, I will trust its credibility. Patagonia is a brand that has uniquely earned this trust from consumers. They don’t require validation for people to believe that their claims and impacts are indeed true.
Well then, what about Boochcraft? Or White Leaf Provisions? Or Emerald Grasslands? These three groups, while I’m certain they are wonderful brands and people, are relatively unknown to 99.999% of consumers. What is going to make consumers trust their Regenerative Organic Certification intentions and impacts? What credibility do they have in the global market?
This is where the importance of the Regenerative Organic Certification comes in. The certification must provide credibility for organizations like the three mentioned above, which have not yet built the same level of brand trust as Patagonia. If people trust and understand ROC, then by the transitive property they ought to trust the brands that have received this certification, too.
Now we enter into the delicate space of blindly trusting certifications. This is the same rabbit hole that has plagued “sustainability” marketing for decades.
How can we trust everything we read on a label to be true? Do we blindly accept that people are being responsible? Has this ever proven to be a trustworthy scenario?
Producers Market has a vision of playing a key role in the scaled development of ROC.
We intend to participate as a digitization partner. Our goal is to work in partnership with technology companies, producers, brands, and consumers to validate data. We then communicate this validation to consumers, building credibility and trust in ROC.
Feeling the integrity of ROC is incredibly important. If the groups who subscribe to its practices are to gain the premiums and economic benefits they deserve for their efforts to uplift humanity and our value chains–this integrity is critical.
We intend to validate Regenerative Organic Certification, gain trust, and sustain premiums through our StoryBird technology. We also plan to make our technology and platform available at the lowest possible cost to all producers and brands that employ a Regenerative Organic Certification.
Our goal is to implement our first Regenerative Organic Certification on StoryBird in 2020. We will then scale this across 25+ value chains in 2021 as we become a leading digital storyteller for the global regenerative agriculture movement.
If you feel excited about where we’re heading with StoryBird and Regenerative Organic Certification, sign up for our newsletter to learn more about our progress as our work develops.