Back in 2002, The Restoration Economy predicted a powerful, long-term trend towards restorative, regenerative industries, scientific disciplines and government policies.
It showed how merely reducing the new damage we do to the world (which is what most “sustainable” and “green” initiative do) can’t bring us a better future. At best, those initiatives will bring us a “less bad” future. A better future needs us to undo the damage already done.
That prediction has obviously come true in spades, as we are now surrounded by literally trillions of dollars worth of new “re” (redevelopment, revitalization, remediation, resilience, etc.) activities globally every year.
Here in REVITALIZATION, we’ve documented the rise of many regenerative products ensuing from these activities, ranging from regenerative hot dogs to restorative beer. Here’s the latest:
On August 25, 2022, Vital Farms built on its reputation in sustainable farming with the release of its Restorative pasture-raised eggs. They are produced using regenerative agriculture principles like perennial rotations and cover crops. When properly practiced, regenerative agriculture restores the quantity and quality of topsoil, restores the surrounding watershed, increases climate resilience and boosts native biodiversity (especially pollinators).
“We’re constantly evaluating how we can operate more sustainably since we believe we have a responsibility to lead the industry forward by implementing emerging and scalable practices that support farmers, animals, and the environment,” said Andrea Chu, Director of Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) at Vital Farms.
“This is only the beginning of our journey with regenerative agriculture and one of the many ways Vital Farms is trying to leave the land better than we found it,” she continued.
Vital Farms collaborated with regenerative consultancy Understanding Ag for over a year to transition five initial farms to a core set of tenets that promote rich, nutrient-dense soil.
As pioneers of pasture-raised farming, Vital Farms already follows incredibly high standards, and these tenets take those existing standards to the next level for this new offering.
“Restorative is a natural evolution of our purpose to improve the lives of people, animals, and the planet through food,” said Liz Harroun, one of the Restorative project leaders at Vital Farms.
“As you’d expect from Vital Farms, we’re keeping it bullshit-free by naming the carton Restorative, not Regenerative, because there are limited third-party certification options for egg farmers who follow regenerative practices but don’t use mobile coops. We’re currently pursuing a third-party certification and hope to further these practices across even more farms in the future,” she added.
Vital Farms is working with Regen Ag Lab to track key measurements like biodiversity and water retention every quarter on the five initial farms.
Those measurements will be used to determine year-over-year soil health improvements which will be reported annually. Additional progress highlights will be updated seasonally on the Vital Farms website.
“We applaud Vital Farms for taking steps to help restore the natural system,” said Shane New, Partner and Consultant, Understanding Ag.
“Their dedicated farmer support team brings a unique approach to helping farmers learn and apply regenerative practices, while their outcome-based testing brings authenticity to the consumer. As a consultant, it is rewarding to see resiliency being built back into these farms,” he added.
Fifty percent of the new home-compostable, green-hued Restorative carton is made from natural grasses like ryegrass fibers, a cover crop sourced from nature reserves. Joining Vital Farms’ existing portfolio of pasture-raised eggs, Restorative eggs are now exclusively available at select Whole Foods Market stores nationwide. For more information and to learn about Vital Farms’ tenets of regenerative farming, visit: www.vitalfarms.com/restorative or connect on social media @VitalFarms.
Vital Farms is a Certified B Corporation that offers a range of ethically produced foods nationwide. Started on a single farm in Austin, Texas in 2007, Vital Farms has become a national consumer brand that works with over 300 family farms and is the leading U.S. brand of pasture-raised eggs by retail dollar sales.
Image courtesy of Vital Farms.