Uncovering "regenerative" agribusiness: Deafal and over 100 entities launch a campaign to defend Regenerative Agriculture.

In recent years, major players in the agro-industrial supply chain, including Danone, Nestlé, Pepsico, and McCain, have launched regenerative agriculture programs. The fact that the agro-industry, one of the systems responsible for soil fertility loss and global biodiversity erosion, speaks of regenerative agriculture has, strangely, not sparked significant interest from the public opinion.

Recently, however, Bayer Crop Science, the agricultural division of the German pharmaceutical and chemical company Bayer AG, declared its intention to “become a global reference for the implementation of regenerative agriculture.” In its program, Bayer has adopted, without explicit mention, the “Principles and Values Charter of Organic and Regenerative Agriculture” developed by Deafal in 2018, after years of promoting regenerative practices and collaborating with over 4,500 farmers and 200 agricultural companies. The charter is based on four principles: regenerating the soil, regenerating ecosystems and biodiversity, regenerating relationships among living beings, and regenerating knowledge. 

Among the tools that Bayer declares its intention to adopt based on these principles are the use of new molecules of fungicides and herbicides, artificial intelligence, the adoption of modified seeds, and biotechnologies. Even glyphosate is among the tools that Bayer considers indispensable for the transition to regenerative agriculture. This is a strange and concerning fact, although not surprising.

Regenerative agriculture and economic interests of agribusiness: two incompatible worlds.

Unlike organic farming, which has been regulated in Europe since the early ’90s, there is currently no universally accepted definition of regenerative agriculture. This lack of a clear definition creates a space of ambiguity that can allow multinational corporations to appropriate the term for greenwashing operations. We believe that regenerative agriculture and the agro-industry are two incompatible worlds, and we mention below only a few reasons:

1. Regenerative approaches aim to reduce the farmer’s dependence on agrochemicals, herbicides, and synthetic fertilizers. It is evident that neither Bayer nor any agro-industry multinational finds this path of “liberation” for farmers economically appealing.

2. Regenerative approaches seek to eliminate synthetic products and agrochemicals that, according to a recent review of 148 publications, “pose serious risks to soil and human health” and “imbalance soil fertility.” How can Bayer, one of the major companies in the commercialization of agrochemicals, including the world’s most widely used herbicide, position itself as a leader in regenerative agriculture?

3. Regenerative agriculture aims to create a network of relationships among producers, citizens, and other local actors in a short or very short supply chain context. There is no evident trace of these networks in Bayer’s documents, which avoid explaining how they intend to approach the regeneration of knowledge and communities.

#DefendRegenerativeAgriculture campaign: Deafal and over 100 entities united to promote true regenerative agriculture.

To counter these attempts at greenwashing and prevent the improper use of the term “Regenerative Agriculture” by Bayer and the agro-industry, Deafal has launched the #DefendRegenerativeAgriculture campaign. Farms, citizens, institutions, associations, and businesses can endorse the campaign. Over 100 agricultural companies and associations, along with hundreds of citizens, have already joined.

In the coming months, we will collaborate with participating entities to bring Regenerative Agriculture to the forefront of public opinion and institutional discussions. We aim to strengthen a network to define and promote this approach.

Do not let Regenerative Agriculture fall into the hands of a few multinational corporations that have damaged the planet through soil, air, and water pollution. Join our campaign: it’s also yours!

Support "Defend Regenerative Agriculture" campaign!

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Azienda Agricola Emma Cioffi, Azienda Agricola Orto Campo, Azienda Agricola Antonio Dall’Armi, AE sistemi, Podere Ferruccio, Umaia, Agologia, Las Delicias Coffee, Sortaldea, Granja Las Trinitarias, Establecimiento Agrogandero Tataré, Contragri, Cimini Srl, Azienda Agricola Li Rosi Giuseppe Antonio, Azienda Agricola Michele Giovanni e Giorgio, Il Platano , Società agricola Il Castagnolo s.s., RVF società agricola sperimentale srl, L’Orto Ruspante di Pataki Eva , Le Selvagge, Azienda Agricola Barbara Pisa , Axel Zani coltivatore diretto, Meljana societa agricola, Società agricola Vagheggini.