GROUNDSWELL 2022: IN REVIEW
26th Jul, 2022
The team at TYME recently visited Groundswell, a gathering of the best minds in the business, where those working in food and farming could gain an insight into regenerative agriculture, and how it plays a role in improving the food we eat.
Here are a few of the highlights.
What is regenerative farming?
Regenerative farming is a ‘systems thinking’ approach to the food system, which means that everything is connected.
It’s also about reciprocity. The majority of farming since the industrial revolution has been a one-way street, where we’ve taken from the soil without allowing it to recuperate or live. We’ve been ignoring the complex interactions between soil microbiology and the effects it has on food, but we all have a responsibility to regenerate soil - it keeps us alive, after all.
The importance of soil health
You may have heard that the rising population means we need to produce more and more food - but this isn’t true, according to experts at Groundswell. We‘ve actually moved beyond food scarcity - we now produce more food than we consume.
The most important focus for the future of farming, in fact, is the nutrient density of the foods we grow. Research is starting to show that there’s a link between how nutritious food is, and the health of the soil it’s grown in.
What's standing in the way of regenerative agriculture becoming widely adopted?
Experts in the hospitality biz argued that the biggest obstacle for embracing a regenerative farming supply chain is the expense.
Produce from regenerative farmers is expensive. Plus, the supply chain is complicated: food production and hospitality are two very different worlds.
Regenerative farming means being hyper-seasonal and dealing with variable weather conditions, which means those in hospitality - which relies on planning - aren’t always able to get what they want, in the quantity they want it.
The only way the hospitality sector can embrace regenerative agriculture, from a sourcing perspective, is by building transparent relationships with farmers and buyers or consumers.
The take-home message for TYME was how it’s now up to us to make a change where we can and start discussions, making relationships, forming a community in which we can grow and learn together to foster a regenerative mindset.