What does Regenerative Organic Certification mean for producers and consumers?
The word “sustainable” doesn’t pack much punch any longer. Whether through overuse or greenwashing, it seems to have joined the same ranks as “eco” and “natural,” terms that essentially mean everything and nothing at once. Employed as it so often is—to blithely extoll corporate greening efforts and lifestyle products—some feel the word runs the risk of obscuring more than it reveals. “We should not as a society want to sustain; we should strive to improve,” says Jeff Moyer, executive director of the Rodale Institute, a nonprofit that conducts and funds organic farming research. “Ask growers in the developing world—they’re not hoping to sustain their subsistence farms, but to improve their soil and yields.”
It was an effort to move beyond sustainability that inspired the Rodale Institute to partner with two like-minded companies—Patagonia and Dr. Bronner’s—to create a Regenerative Organic Alliance and introduce a new food product label designed to encourage and reward continuous improvement in agricultural practices: the Regenerative Organic Certification (ROC), which officially launched earlier this month at the Natural Products Expo West trade show in Anaheim, California.