Regenerative Agriculture Industry Map

  1. They explicitly use the term “Regenerative Agriculture” or “Regenerative Farming” in public-facing communications.
  2. Or they invest financial capital into an entity meeting Criteria 1.
Hear Ethan & Koen discuss the map in the December “Investing in Regenerative Agriculture” Podcast!

Why this criteria?

As I’ve described elsewhere, there are multiple divergent meanings of “Regenerative Agriculture” in use today. Instead of subjectively applying any particular definition, I’ve chosen to start with a simple objective approach: Who is using the term?

This is a Draft

Version 1.0 is a draft. There are very likely mistakes. Please help me correct them. If the “usage year” listed for your organization is incorrect, I will happily change it — please just send me a link to the date of a public record where you use the term “Regenerative Agriculture”. If your estimated financial scale is incorrect, please tell me (with as much precision as you’d like to be public) what it should be. Thank you!

Entity Types

Organizations are grouped in five categories:

  • Investment: Primarily investment managers and funds, though a few family offices are included.
  • Farm: Includes farms that develop and market their own products. See additional note about Farms below.
  • Service Organization: Educators, consultants, research organizations, agricultural equipment and product manufacturers, land managers not tied to a single farm, media producers, for-profit membership organizations, ecosystem platforms, and other types of organizations.
  • CPG: Consumer Packaged Goods manufacturers, primarily food and beverage, but including some health and beauty products. Retailers of Consumer Packaged Goods are included here, along with fashion and clothing manufacturers.
  • Non-Profit: A diversity of not-for-profit organizations, from education to research to events convening to advocacy.

Estimated Financial Scale

Organizations are loosely clumped into one of 4 financial scale categories, based primarily on publicly available information. For most entities on the map the estimated financial scale refers to annual revenue, with the exception of Investment organizations where it refers to Assets Under Management (AUM).

Note about Earliest Usages

This first written record of the term “Regenerative Agriculture” was in 1979 by Medard Gabel (thanks to Luke Smith of Terra Genesis for research on this). Soon afterwards (in 1983), Robert Rodale of the Rodale Institute began using the term, and led the creation of the “Regenerative Agriculture Association” sometime in the 1980s. They published at least one book that I have seen (“Booker T. Whatley’s Handbook on How to Make $100,000 Farming 25 Acres”), and began promoting early ideas about regeneration alongside their work on organic farming.

Future Versions

There are two primary pathways along which I plan to develop I plan develop this map.

  1. Expansion. As noted, there are a lot of farms out there using the term that are not yet on this map. Additionally, this map is heavily United States-centric, and should definitely be expanded to better represent the work happening in South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia.
  2. Depth. I will add layers of detail and complexity over time. I’ll start with characterizing the “Lineages” from which each entity is sourcing their use of “Regenerative Agriculture”. Next I will characterize the Level of Regenerative Agriculture that each entity is working from, through a combination of supported self-reporting and my subjective assessments. Then I will start to develop more detailed attributes for the different entities, including the agricultural practices, business models, and metrics utilized by each. Eventually these attributes will include locations, climate zones, and crops produced.

Final Questions

Will the exponential growth trend of the last decade continue? How many entities using the term “Regenerative Agriculture” will it take to reverse climate change? What would success look like for the growth of this industry?

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