The Regenerative Organic Alliance (ROA), a group of experts in farming, ranching, soil health, animal welfare, and fair trade, announced 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.
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, Calif.
• 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, Neb.
• 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, Calif.
• Herb Pharm: Williams, Ore.
• Guayaki Yerba Mate: Misiones, Argentina
Lotus Foods Basmati Achieves Regenerative Organic Certification
Lotus Foods, an heirloom and organic rice company, announced that its traditional White and Brown Basmati Rice, sourced from family farmers in northern India, has qualified for Regenerative Organic Certified™ (ROC™) Silver. It is the first rice to achieve this rigorous new standard, which goes beyond existing Organic and Fair Trade certifications in promoting farming that enriches rather than degrades soil and values animals and workers.
In 2018, Lotus Foods was one of 19 brands and farms selected to pilot the Regenerative Organic standards, which is comprised of three pillars: Soil Health and Land Management; Animal Welfare; and Farmer and Worker Fairness. The goal of the pilot process was to develop a greater understanding of how ROC standards can be implemented at the field level and use that experience in finalizing the standards for adoption worldwide. Sixteen different commodities were represented in the pilot. Lotus Foods offered the opportunity to gauge the application of the standards under the conditions of subsistence rice farmers, who are managing plots of land that are a fraction the size of most farms and ranches in the US.