Santa Rosa, Calif. (August 10, 2020) – The Regenerative Organic Alliance (ROA), a group of experts in farming, ranching, soil health, animal welfare, and fair trade, is proud to announce that the Regenerative Organic Certified (ROC) certification standard for food, fiber, and personal care products has completed its pilot phase and is now open for general certification. Additionally, the ROA is thrilled to announce the availability of the first ROC products in the marketplace.
Before being eligible for ROC, farms must first hold USDA organic certification. ROC then adds further criteria to ensure soil health, animal welfare, and social fairness, making it the highest standard for organic agriculture in the world. By choosing an ROC product, consumers can know at a glance that their purchase supports farm workers, soil health and pasture-based animal welfare. The new certification also has three levels—bronze, silver, and gold. The levels require farms and businesses to phase in more rigorous regenerative organic practices over time.
The Regenerative Organic Alliance was formed in 2018 to promote regenerative organic farming as the highest standard for agriculture around the world. ROA exists to heal a broken system, repair a damaged planet, and empower farmers and consumers to forge a brighter future through better farming. And the time is now: COVID-19 has quickly revealed the underlying risks and inequalities in the global food system. Many farmers, doctors, and scientists agree that fixing our broken food system and adhering to regenerative organic practices is one of the tools we have to improve human health, as shown in a new white paper recently released by Rodale Institute and The Plantrician Project.
The ROA first established the Regenerative Organic Certified standard in 2018, then conducted a pilot program the following year to test the standard on real farming operations around the world. The intent of the pilot was to gather participants’ feedback in order to improve the process and the standard’s criteria. With the initial pilot program completed, the ROA will increase the number of approved certifiers and will begin certifying new brands, effective immediately in partnership with their program manager, NSF International.
“The journey to become Regenerative Organic Certified has been unique for each of our pilot program participants, with significant learnings along the way,” said Elizabeth Whitlow, Executive Director of the Regenerative Organic Alliance. “The success that these leading, regenerative organic businesses have achieved in only one year is proof that ROC is not only a viable and attainable certification, but that indeed we are shaping the future of agriculture supply chains and consumer demand for truly regenerative organic products. I look forward to growing the certification in the years ahead with many more brands.”
Consumers can now find the first group of Regenerative Organic Certified products wherever organic products are sold. In addition, PatagoniaProvisions.com has shifted their website to now serve as the definitive e-commerce source for ROC products, ROC pilot products, and products “on the road” to becoming certified, from many different brands and product categories.
Several participants from the 2019 ROC Pilot Program have earned the first ROC designations, demonstrating their commitment to the environment, soil health, animal welfare and fair labor standards. The first brands and farms to display the Regenerative Organic Certified label include:
- Apricot Lane Farms: Avocado Oil from Moorpark, CA
- Dr. Bronner’s: Regenerative Organic Coconut Oil from Serendipol Ltd. in Sri Lanka
- Nature’s Path: Oats from Legend Organic farm in Saskatchewan, Canada
- Grain Place Foods: Popcorn and Cornmeal from Marquette, NE
- Patagonia Provisions: Regenerative Organic Chile Mango from Sol Simple, Masaya, Nicaragua
- Lotus Foods: Brown and White Basmati Rice from Rohini, India
- Sol Simple: Banana from Masaya, Nicaragua
- Other farms and businesses that received certification with products forthcoming:
- Tablas Creek Vineyards: Paso Robles CA
- Herb Pharm: Williams OR
- Guayaki Yerba Mate: Misiones, Argentina
For more information, please visit https://regenorganic.org.
Press images here.
Additional Pull Quotes from ROC Brands:
Apricot Lane Farms
"As farmers around the world embrace this movement back to biodiversity, the ROC standard serves to not only set the goals but to unite the culture and conversation around regenerative agriculture," says John Chester, Founder of Apricot Lane Farms. “While methods can be very unique to each piece of land, farmers are seeing the value in building a farm's immunology through the lens of biodiversity. In the last nine years I have watched the beautiful complexity of our farm's ecosystem present infinite possibilities for collaboration.”
“Regenerative Organic Certification brings together the best of existing soil health, animal welfare, and fair labor certifications into a single standard. Adopted at global scale, regenerative organic management of agricultural lands can mitigate climate change and help build resilient rural communities,” said David Bronner, Cosmic Engagement Officer (CEO) at Dr. Bronner’s. “Regenerative Organic Certified criteria reflects the values that Dr. Bronner’s was already implementing in our supply chain, with our focus on organic and Fair Trade systems, but now we’re advancing another level of environmental stewardship, and we’re proud to demonstrate that with our new Regenerative Organic Coconut Oil.”
Grain Place Foods
“Grain Place Foods is committed to the long term goals established by the Regenerative Organic Certification program. It aligns with the vision of organic agriculture my father and I had when I returned to the family farm 45 years ago. Healthy soil is the key to a healthy life for everything.” David Vetter, Grain Place Foods
Guayaki Yerba Mate
“Guayakí Yerba Mate engaged in the ROC pilot to promote farming that nourishes land, growers, animals, and consumers. Guayakí is proud to have its Reserva Agroecológica Iguazú be the only pilot participant awarded GOLD level Regenerative Organic Certification, the highest bar signifying pioneering regenerative agriculture for soil health and social fairness.” - Alex Pryor, Guayaki Yerba Mate Co-Founder
“Herb Pharm volunteered as a pilot farm the moment we learned about Regenerative Organic Certification (ROC). We’re in a race against climate change we can’t afford to lose. Our thanks go out to Patagonia, Dr Bronner’s, and the Rodale Institute for their leadership. We’re proud to be ROC certified and to be among those helping to launch this vital program. As ROC states: farm regeneratively because the world depends on it.” -Tal Johnson, CEO, Herb Pharm
“We couldn’t be more thrilled,” says Lotus Foods Co-Founder/Co-CEO Caryl Levine. “These farmers, who have been trained to use System of Rice Intensification (SRI) methods, which we call More Crop Per Drop™, have demonstrated that it is very feasible to generate important economic and environmental benefits like increasing yields of traditional varieties, reducing water use and methane emissions and also be regenerative.” Adds Ken Lee, also Lotus Foods Co-Founder/Co-CEO, “We’d like to express our gratitude to Tapan Ray, our supply partner in India, for his pioneering support of SRI farming practices and commitment to the ROC pilot process. And to Dr. Bronner’s for their encouragement. It was a pleasure to work with the Regenerative Organic Alliance (ROA) and NSF International implementing teams and professionals at EcoCert, who conducted the field audit.”
Nature’s Path Foods
“The Regenerative Organic Alliance’s certification program is allowing brands to come together as one cohesive voice in alignment towards the regenerative organic standards to really empower companies, farmers and consumers with one voice and one clear message to repeat,” said Manuel Gorrin, Brand Engagement Manager for Nature’s Path Foods.
“Growing food and fiber with industrial techniques and harmful chemicals is having devastating effects on human health and the health of our planet. This type of farming degrades soil, which over time reduces our ability to grow healthy crops and contributes to the loss of topsoil and water-limited resources we can’t afford to waste. Switching to Regenerative Organic practices builds healthy soil and draws even more carbon back into the ground, turning our agricultural system from problem to solution.,” notes Birgit Cameron, Head of Patagonia Provisions. “There has never been a more important time to engage in our mission to save our home planet through agriculture, food and health. We have seen a groundswell of enthusiasm and support for all the farmers, ranchers, fishers and producers moving in this direction together.”
"Sol Simple is proud to have partnered with Patagonia Provisions to introduce the first-ever Regenerative Organic Certified (ROC) solar dried fruit. Now more than ever we hear the urgent calling from our planet to take action. Regenerative agriculture is one of the most important steps we can make to counter climate change. It's about restoring the planet's equilibrium, nourishing our soil back to health, and enriching the livelihoods of our farmers." -- Will Burke, Founder and CEO Sol Simple
“In all honesty, when the info for ROC first crossed my desk, I did not pay much attention. As a certified organic and biodynamic property, juggling a third certification seemed a bit daunting. As I began to dig through what ROC was, its standards, and its overall mission, it became quite clear that this was something that Tablas Creek Vineyard had to get behind. What really drew us in was ROC’s commitment to the importance of the Social Responsibility pillar/standard. In the world of agriculture, all too often are the workers overlooked. This certification ensures that is not the case on your farm. Lastly, this certification truly makes you look at your farm as one living organism. The soil, the plants, the insects, the animals, and most importantly, the people. We are proud to be a part of the ROC family and we are proud to be farming like the world depends on it!” - Jordan Lonborg
About the Regenerative Organic Alliance
The Regenerative Organic Alliance (ROA) is composed of experts in farming, ranching, soil health, animal welfare, and farmer and worker fairness. Led by Rodale Institute and spearheaded by Dr. Bronner’s and Patagonia, other founding members of the ROA include Compassion in World Farming, White Oak Pastures, Fair World Project, the Textile Exchange, among others. The ROA works in partnership with NSF International, who serves as the Scheme Manager for the ROC. The ROA has been established to continuously review and update the certification guidelines, provide resources to businesses seeking to achieve Regenerative Organic Certification, and educate consumers about the imperative of regenerative organic agriculture. Learn more at RegenOrganic.org.
Regenerative Organic Alliance
Anna Meyer, Anna@regenorganic.org
Corley Kenna, Corley.Kenna@patagonia.com
Ryan Fletcher, Ryan@drbronner.com
Diana Martin, Diana.Martin@rodaleinstitute.org