National and International Regenerative Agriculture Advocacy Groups Announce Support for Vermont Regenerative Farm Certification Bill

For Immediate Release

February 10, 2016

Contact:

Aria McLauchlan, Kiss the Ground, aria@kisstheground.com

Katherine Paul, Regeneration International, 207-653-3090, katherine@regenerationinternational.org;

National and International Regenerative Agriculture Advocacy Groups Announce Support for Vermont Regenerative Farm Certification Bill

Vermont Bill Would Establish the Nation’s First Program for Certifying Regenerative Farms.

Los Angeles, California – (Wednesday, Feb 10)

Kiss the Ground and Regeneration International today announced support for Vermont’s Senate Bill 159, a bill that would introduce a state-level certification program under which farmers could have their land and farming methods certified by the state as regenerative.

The bill, introduced by Senator Brian Campion (of Bennington, Bennington County), was first written by Jesse McDougall, a farmer in Shaftsbury, Vt. McDougall employs regenerative farming practices, including planned rotational grazing, which eliminate the need for chemical fertilizers and tilling, and regenerate the soil’s capacity to retain water and sequester carbon.

McDougall had considered pursuing a formal organic certification for his meat products, but decided he wanted to do more than tell customers what’s not in the food––the absence of chemicals and synthetic fertilizers. McDougall sought instead a certification that would tell consumers what is in their food, how the food was raised, and how the land was improved by its production.

“The certification is intended to help legitimize this style of farming as an economically viable option for farmers,” said McDougall. “It is our hope that this certification program not only creates a high-value market for regeneratively-grown food, but also rewards regenerative farmers for their work with better marketing opportunities and bigger margins.”

“As a small, farmer-friendly state and agriculture pioneer, Vermont is perfectly positioned to lead the country with this type of legislation,” said Finian Makepeace, co-founder and policy director at California-based non-profit, Kiss The Ground. “We expect and hope to see many more states adopt similar legislation as part of the regenerative movement that is spreading across the United States and globally.”

Also known as “carbon farming”, regenerative agriculture practices put the emphasis on soil health using nature’s systems to regenerate the land. According to Andre Leu, president of IFOAM – Organics International, “rebuilding soil by sequestering carbon reduces CO2 from the atmosphere and creates land that is more drought resistant and grows healthier, food, plants and animals.”

“The trends are clear. Consumers increasingly want to know more about their food. What’s in it, how it was grown, whether it was locally produced or shipped a long distance, and how humanely animals were treated,” said Ronnie Cummins, member of the Regeneration International Steering Committee, and international director of the Organic Consumers Association. “And as public concern around global warming escalates, consumers are looking for food produced using practices that contribute to a climate solution, rather than to the problem.”

This is the first piece of legislation specific to regenerative agriculture in the United States, and one that serves both farmers and consumers. The certification is intended to result in a State of Vermont seal, visible to consumers at the grocery store and available to certified farmers to share, educate and promote their work.

The certification includes three standard, binary tests: if topsoil has increased; if carbon has been sequestered; or if soil organic matter has increased. A farm would need to meet only one of these criteria, over a three-year period and with each successive year, to be certified as regenerative.

Healthy soil via regenerative agriculture is gaining traction worldwide with “4/1000 Initiative: Soils for Food Security and Climate“, a visionary initiative introduced at last December’s COP21 and signed by 25 countries, to increase the organic carbon level of each country’s agricultural soils by 0.4% each year.

“Regenerative farming can rebuild the soil, sequester carbon, produce nutrient-dense food, and eliminate the need for toxic chemicals,” McDougall says. “If we want the next generation of farmers to do this work, it is our responsibility to provide them with the tools that make it possible. We wrote this bill to begin building those tools.”

The Vermont Senate Committee on agriculture will review Bill 159 in the coming weeks and determine whether it will be included in the next legislative session and continue on to the Senate floor.

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Kiss The Ground is a California-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit championing regenerative living and the restoration of soil worldwide. Their work is generating awareness through media, education and policy, encouraging participation from individuals, farmers, communities and governments to build back healthy soil.

Regeneration International is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to building a global network of farmers, scientists, businesses, activists, educators, journalists, governments and consumers who will promote and put into practice regenerative agriculture and land-use practices that: provide abundant, nutritious food; revive local economies; rebuild soil fertility and biodiversity; and restore climate stability by returning carbon to the soil, through the natural process of photosynthesis.

Global Food, Farming and Environmental Justice Groups to Put Monsanto on Trial for Crimes Against Human Health and the Environment in the International People’s Court in The Hague

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 3, 2015 CONTACT: US: Organic Consumers Association/Regeneration International: Katherine Paul, 207-653-3090, katherine@organicconsumers.org (US); Via Organica/Regeneration International: Ercilia Sahores, ercilia@viaorganica.org; Stichting Monsanto Tribunal: Arnaud Apoteker, arnaudapoteker@yahoo.fr, +33 (0)6 07 57 31 60 (France) Global Food, Farming and Environmental Justice Groups to Put Monsanto on Trial for Crimes Against Human Health and the Environment in the International People’s Court in The Hague  Organic Consumers Association, IFOAM, Navdanya, Regeneration International and others form Monsanto Tribunal Foundation in advance of World Food Day 2016 PARIS – The Organic Consumers Association (OCA), IFOAM International Organics, Navdanya, Regeneration International (RI), and Millions Against Monsanto, joined by dozens of global food, farming and environmental justice groups announced today that they will put Monsanto MON (NYSE), a US-based transnational corporation, on trial for crimes against nature and humanity, and ecocide, in The Hague, Netherlands, next year on World Food Day, October 16, 2016. The announcement was made at a press conference held in conjunction with the COP21 United Nations Conference on Climate Change, November 30 – December 11, in Paris. Speaking at the press conference, Ronnie Cummins, international director of the OCA (US) and Via Organica (Mexico), and member of the RI Steering Committee, said: “The time is long overdue for a global citizens’ tribunal to put Monsanto on trial for crimes against humanity and the environment. We are in Paris this month to address the most serious threat that humans have ever faced in our 100-200,000 year evolution—global warming and climate disruption. Why is there so much carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide in the atmosphere and not enough carbon organic matter in the soil? Corporate agribusiness, industrial forestry, the garbage and sewage industry and agricultural biotechnology have literally killed the climate-stabilizing, carbon-sink capacity of the Earth’s living soil.” Vandana Shiva, physicist, author, activist and founder of Navdanya, and member of the RI Steering Committee said: “Monsanto has pushed GMOs in order to collect royalties from poor farmers, trapping them in unpayable debt, and pushing them to suicide. Monsanto promotes an agro-industrial model that contributes at least 50 percent of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Monsanto is also largely responsible for the depletion of soil and water resources, species extinction and declining biodiversity, and the displacement of millions of small farmers worldwide.” Andre Leu, president of IFOAM and a member of the RI Steering Committee, said: “Monsanto is able to ignore the human and environmental damage caused by its products, and maintain its devastating activities through a strategy of systemic concealment: by lobbying regulatory agencies and governments, by resorting to lying and corruption, by financing fraudulent scientific studies, by pressuring independent scientists, and by manipulating the press and media. Monsanto’s history reads like a text-book case of impunity, benefiting transnational corporations and their executives, whose activities contribute to climate and biosphere crises and threaten the safety of the planet.” Marie-Monique Robin, journalist and author of the best-selling documentary (and book by the same name), “The World According Monsanto,” said: “This International Citizens’ Tribunal is necessary because the defense of the safety of the planet and the conditions of life on Earth is everyone’s concern. Only through a collective resurgence of all living forces will we stop the engine of destruction. That’s why today I am calling on all citizens of the world to participate in this exemplary tribunal.” Also speaking at the conference were Valerie Cabanes, lawyer and spokesperson for End Ecocide on Earth; Hans Rudolf Herren, president and CEO of the Millennium Institute, president and founder of Biovision, and member of the RI Steering Committee; Arnaud Apoteker, creator of the anti-GMO campaign in France, which became one of the priority campaigns of Greenpeace France, and author of “Fish in Our Strawberries: Our Manipulated Food;” and Olivier De Schutter, co-chair of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPESFood) and former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. Since the beginning of the twentieth century, Monsanto has developed a steady stream of highly toxic products which have permanently damaged the environment and caused illness or death for thousands of people. These products include:

  • PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl), one of the 12 Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP) that affect human and animal fertility;
  • 2,4,5 T (2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid), a dioxin-containing component of the defoliant, Agent Orange, which was used by the US Army during the Vietnam War and continues to cause birth defects and cancer;
  • Lasso, an herbicide that is now banned in Europe;
  • and RoundUp, the most widely used herbicide in the world, and the source of the greatest health and environmental scandal in modern history. This toxic herbicide, designated a probable human carcinogen by the World Health Organization, is used in combination with genetically modified (GM) RoundUp Ready seeds in large-scale monocultures, primarily to produce soybeans, maize and rapeseed for animal feed and biofuels.

Relying on the “Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights” adopted by the UN in 2011, an international court of lawyers and judges will assess the potential criminal liability of Monsanto for damages inflicted on human health and the environment. The court will also rely on the Rome Statute that created the International Criminal Court in The Hague in 2002, and it will consider whether to reform international criminal law to include crimes against the environment, or ecocide, as a prosecutable criminal offense. The International Criminal Court, established in 2002 in The Hague, has determined that prosecuting ecocide as a criminal offense is the only way to guarantee the rights of humans to a healthy environment and the right of nature to be protected. Full list of founding organizations (so far) here. http://regenerationinternational.org/monsanto-tribunal-supporting-organizations/ Full list of Monsanto Tribunal Foundation organizing members here. http://regenerationinternational.org/members-of-the-organizing-committee/ More information will be available at http://www.monsanto-tribunal.org/, after 2:30 p.m. EU time on December 3, 2015. The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) https://www.organicconsumers.org/ is an online and grassroots non-profit 501(c)(3) public interest organization campaigning for health, justice, and sustainability. The Organic Consumers Fund is a 501(c)4 allied organization of the Organic Consumers Association, focused on grassroots lobbying and legislative action. Regeneration International is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to building a global network of farmers, scientists, businesses, activists, educators, journalists, governments and consumers who will promote and put into practice regenerative agriculture and land-use practices that: provide abundant, nutritious food; revive local economies; rebuild soil fertility and biodiversity; and restore climate stability by returning carbon to the soil, through the natural process of photosynthesis.

Organic Regenerative Agriculture Can Ease World Hunger and Reverse Global Warming

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 16, 2015

Contact:

English: Katherine Paul, 207.653-3090, Katherine@regenerationinternational.org

English: Lauren Stansbury, 402.540.1208, lauren@wearemovementmedia.com

Spanish: Ercilia Sahores, +52 (55) 6257 7901, ercilia@regenerationinternational.org

Organic Regenerative Agriculture Can Ease World Hunger and Reverse Global Warming

On World Food Day, International Experts Say Fossil Fuel Reduction Isn’t Enough; Survival Requires that We Also Restore the Capacity of the World’s Soils to Sequester Carbon and to Feed Vulnerable Populations

WASHINGTON D.C. — The nonprofit organization Regeneration International will hold a press conference today at 9 a.m. at the National Press Club, titled “The Future of Food: From Degeneration to Regeneration.” A panel of 10 international experts on organic agriculture, carbon sequestration and world hunger will speak to the capacity of organic regenerative agriculture to draw excess carbon from the atmosphere and sequester it in soil; how regenerative agriculture provides livelihoods for farmers, revitalizes local economies, and produces abundant food for populations most vulnerable to the consequences of climate change. For more information about World Food Day, Regeneration International and this press conference, please visit: http://regenerationinternational.org/world-food-day/.

Speakers will include:

A live stream of the conference will be available here: http://regenerationinternational.org/world-food-day-livestream.

“On this World Food Day let us make a collective commitment to make a transition from an industrial agriculture model which has killed 300,000 Indian farmers, contributed 40 percent of GHGs leading to climate change, and created hunger, poverty and disease, to a regenerative agriculture that grows more and healthier food, rejuvenates the soil while reversing climate change, and sows the seeds of democracy and peace,“ said Vandana Shiva.

Ronnie Cummins said: “Regenerative organic food, farming and land use, scaled up globally on billions of acres of farmland, grassland and forests, can feed the world and reverse global warming and deteriorating public health. An international alliance of small farmers, ranchers and indigenous communities, allied with conscious consumers, can literally cool the planet, restore soil health and biodiversity, and move us away from climate catastrophe and societal degeneration.”

André Leu said: “We have good peer-reviewed science showing the scaling up of regenerative organic agriculture can reverse climate change, end the loss of biodiversity, stop the poisoning of our children and planet and very importantly, nourish all people with high quality food.”

Tom Newmark said: “On this World Food Day we face two interlinked planetary challenges: to produce enough food for all people and to sequester enough carbon in the soil to reverse climate change. There is one solution for those challenges: regenerative organic agriculture. We can no longer afford to rely on chemical farming, as the use of synthetic fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides has destroyed soils worldwide and rendered them unable to rebuild soil organic matter. It is now time for people and all governments to embrace the regenerative solution.”

Precious Phiri said: “Around the world, soil is the common currency and the only hope we have to rebuild our local economies, restore dignity and social structures while reversing climate change. We cannot achieve these benefits from the soil using harmful chemicals and heavy machinery. We must promote regenerative organic agriculture, in all communities and cultures around the world.”

Ashley Koff said: “This World Food Day, ask not what your food can do for you, but what our food will do for us all in the decades to come. The answer to whether our food feeds us all for better health lies in the health of our soil, not biotechnologies. Simply, if our soil contains the nutrients our bodies need for better health, so too can our food. Investing in our soil is the best health investment we must all make.”

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Regeneration International is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to building a global network of farmers, scientists, businesses, activists, educators, journalists, governments and consumers who will promote and put into practice regenerative agriculture and land-use practices that: provide abundant, nutritious food; revive local economies; rebuild soil fertility and biodiversity; and restore climate stability by returning carbon to the soil, through the natural process of photosynthesis.

International Experts on Climate, Regenerative Agriculture and Food to Hold World Food Day Press Conference in Washington D.C.

International experts will convene on World Food Day, Friday, October 16, to promote ideas and policy changes based on some of the latest evidence showing how transitioning to organic regenerative agriculture and land use practices have the capacity to reverse climate change by drawing carbon out of the atmosphere and sequestering it in the soil. At the same time, these practices can return stewardship of the land to local farmers and communities, thus strengthening local economies and alleviating hunger among those populations that are most at risk from climate-related disasters.

WHAT:  International Press Conference: “The Future of Food: From Degeneration to Regeneration

WHEN:  World Food Day, Friday, October 16, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

WHERE:  Holeman Lounge, National Press Club, 529 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20045

WHO:  Speakers will include:

•    Vandana Shiva (India: Navdanya)

•    Christophe Malvezin (France: Agricultural Counselor, Embassy of France in the US)

•    Ronnie Cummins (US: Organic Consumers Association)

•    Tom Newmark (US: The Carbon Underground)

•    Andre Leu (Australia: IFOAM Organics International)

•    Precious Phiri (Africa: Africa Center for Holistic Management)

•    Ashley Koff (US: Ashley Koff Approved)

•    Will Allen (US: Cedar Circle Farm, VT)

•    Debbie Barker (US: Center for Food Safety)

LIVE STREAM:  http://regenerationinternational.org/world-food-day-livestream

A limited number of free media passes are available for an evening reception at Restaurant Nora, 7-9pm. Please RSVP to Katherine Paul, katherine@regenerationinternational.org.

75 Groups Sign Open Letter to Pope Francis Praising the Religious Leader for His Stance on Climate Change

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 24, 2015

Contact:

US:
Katherine Paul, katherine@organicconsumers.org, 207.653.3090

Mexico:
Ercilia Sahores, ercilia@organicconsumers.org, +52 (55) 6257 7901


 Faith-Based, Indigenous, Environmental, Health, Justice, Consumer and Farming Groups Call On Pope Francis to Emphasize the Link between Organic Regenerative Agriculture, World Hunger and Global Warming

Washington D.C.—About 75 faith-based, indigenous, environmental, health, justice, consumer and farming groups today welcomed Pope Francis to the U.S. and thanked him for challenging the world’s people, governments and corporations to tackle the world’s most urgent crisis—global warming.

The groups, which include Hazon, Friends of the Earth, Alliance for Natural Health, Women’s Environmental Institute, Organic Consumers Association, IFOAM Organics International, Family Farm Defenders and Carbon Underground, urged the Pope to continue speaking out about the moral and ethical obligation we all have to take care of the planet.

They also asked that Pope Francis emphasize the links between food, poverty and climate, and call for investments in organic regenerative agriculture as a critical path toward solving both world hunger and global warming.

Vandana Shiva, activist, author and co-founder of Regeneration International said: “Pope Francis through, his encyclical ‘Laudato Si’, has made a call for a change in consciousness and a worldview from the dominant paradigm of the domination over nature and its destruction, to one where we see the Earth as our mother, as our common home. He reminds us of the role of land degradation and desertification to climate change and that its solution lies in the soil. We have forgotten that we ourselves are dust of the earth. It is by bringing beauty, true wellbeing and the joy of living in harmony with nature that Pope Francis through his encyclical awakens our deeper humanity and consciousness.”

André Leu, president of IFOAM Organics International and co-founder of Regeneration International said: “We profoundly thank Pope Francis for his Encyclical. We have good peer-reviewed science showing the scaling up of regenerative organic agriculture can reverse climate change, end the loss of biodiversity, stop the poisoning of our children and planet and very importantly, nourish all people with high quality food.”

Ronnie Cummins, international director of the Organic Consumers Association (US) and Via Organica (Mexico), and co-founder of Regeneration International said: “We welcome Pope Francis to Washington on his mission to inspire the American people to deal with the absolutely crucial issues of global warming, poverty, and justice. We welcome his call to respect and regenerate the Earth and the global body politic. We ask that Francis ‘connect the dots’ between healing the Earth and fixing the climate crisis by calling for a global campaign of regenerative organic agriculture and land use, which can dramatically reduce emissions while simultaneously drawing down several hundred billion tons of excess carbon from the atmosphere and safely sequestering this carbon in our living soils.”

Tom Newmark, co-founder of The Carbon Underground and Regeneration International said: “Pope Francis has identified the moral challenge of climate change, to which there is an available moral solution. That solution is called regenerative organic agriculture, whereby farmers and ranchers worldwide can restore soil carbon levels and produce abundant food. The best news? The regenerative solution is shovel-ready.”

Read the open letter and list of endorsing groups here

Regeneration International is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to building a global network of farmers, scientists, businesses, activists, educators, journalists, governments and consumers who will promote and put into practice regenerative agriculture and land-use practices that: provide abundant, nutritious food; revive local economies; rebuild soil fertility and biodiversity; and restore climate stability by returning carbon to the soil, through the natural process of photosynthesis.

Scientists, Business and Farmers from 21 Nations Launch Movement to Feed the Planet and Reverse Climate Change via Regenerative Agriculture

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE-ORGANIC CONSUMERS ASSOCIATION 
June 8, 2015

Contact: Katherine Paul, katherine@organicconsumers.org, 207-653-3090


SCIENTISTS, BUSINESS AND FARMERS FROM 21 NATIONS LAUNCH MOVEMENT TO FEED THE PLANET AND REVERSE CLIMATE CHANGE VIA REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE

FINCA LUNA NUEVA, Costa Rica—Representatives from organizations as diverse as Texas A&M University, the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Patagonia, Greenpeace and The Millennium Institute are participating in a three-day conference in Costa Rica. The participants are working together to develop and promote a significantly different approach to food production, land use and climate change, by harnessing natural systems to solve each issue in a related manner.

The conference, the first of a planned series of similar gatherings around the world, will focus on uniting movements, developing campaigns and creating a global media plan to communicate this critical message: The degradation of soil threatens both the food supply and the climate—and restoring soil health can reverse that damage.

“We have numerous published, peer-reviewed scientific papers showing that with the right agricultural techniques we can strip enough CO2 out of the atmosphere to reverse climate change.  This is a game changer,” said Andre Leu, co-author of a United Nations report on Soil Health and Climate Change.

Recent information released by the UN, the World Bank, the Rodale Institute, and governments that include the US, China and others is shows that the transference of carbon from the land to the atmosphere is more damaging than previously known, and also more opportunistic. Industrial agriculture—via chemicals and tilling—kills trillions of carbon-based organisms necessary to keep soil healthy.

“Nature has dealt with much worse levels of carbon in the atmosphere before our time. It’s exactly what photosynthesis was designed to do. But unhealthy soil has now been shown to shut down this process– trapping the carbon in the air and  disrupting the climate.” said Larry Kopald, The Carbon Underground.

Reports also show how regenerative farming and ranching techniques can restore soil, and also produce yields similar to industrial techniques, leading to far greater food security. In addition, healthy soil can reduce the amount of water necessary to grow crops by as much as 60 percent.

”Bringing soil to the center of our consciousness and our planning is vital not only for the life of the soil, but also for the future of our society. Regenerative agriculture provides answers to the soil crisis, the food crisis, the health crisis, the climate crisis and the crisis of democracy,”said Vandana Shiva, global activist and author of Soil Not Oil.

The Regenerative International Conference will focus on food production techniques, food quality, drawing down CO2 from the atmosphere, and the economic impact on farmers, businesses and governments due to lower costs on food production, healthcare and climate change adaptation.

“This is new science that’s connecting the food issues with the climate issue, making it more and more clear that by fixing the soil, and fixing the way we produce food, we can fix the climate as well,” said Ronnie Cummins, international director of the Organic Consumers Association.

Business representatives spoke about the responsibility to keep the supply chain—especially natural resources—both viable and affordable.

“At Patagonia we are always focused on producing great products that create no unnecessary harm to the planet. We are now seeing that by supporting regenerative methods for how we grow our cotton or how we source materials for our health bars can actually have a healing, positive impact on the planet. This is a huge opportunity for business to make a difference, while also achieving financial business goals,”  said Rick Ridgeway, global sustainability director, Patagonia

The Regeneration International Working Group was formed to counter the growing global push for so-called “Sustainable Intensification” based on GMOs and the increased use of toxic pesticides and fertilizers, and to promote the multifunctional benefits of regenerative forms of agriculture such as agro-ecology, holistic grazing, cover cropping, permaculture, and agroforestry.