In early 2023 Proof and Trailhead Capital formed the first Regenerative Agriculture Working Group with the objectives to:
- Identify and build consensus around leading regenerative agriculture KPIs to promote harmonization and deeper insight generation in the sector.
- Increase sharing of learnings, trends, and best practices in regenerative agriculture performance measurement.
- Establish this working group as a thought leader in the regenerative agriculture space among various essential players [Farmers, Companies, Investors]
- Discuss and strategically plan around macro trends related to the sector
In the coming months the working group Proof will release a blueprint of a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) identified by a working group of regenerative agriculture experts and practitioners. The blueprint is designed to help regenerative agriculture investors and businesses select industry specific metric sets and promote harmonization for impact measurement. It is divided into practice KPIs and outcomes KPIs.
This blueprint covers the first of six categories:
- Expand the amount of regeneratively managed land ⬅
- Reduce atmospheric carbon
- Reduce food waste
- Conserve water
- Improve food nutrition and nutrient density
- Increase biodiversity
Impact Category #1: Expand the amount of regeneratively managed land
Practice KPIs — Regeneratively Managed Land
1. Hectares of Organically Managed Land
Definition: Organically managed land is defined as land that is managed without prohibited chemicals or synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, as specified by the United States Department of Agriculture.
2. Hectares of Regeneratively Managed Land
Definition: Regenerative land management includes meeting one required practice and at least one of five additional practices:
One required practice that organizations must consistently follow in their operations:
- Organically managed land (i.e., land that is managed without prohibited chemicals or synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, as specified by the United States Department of Agriculture.
- Organizations must also consistently follow at least one of five additional practices, which they may choose:
→ Cover Crops - As defined in 2.1 Vegetative Cover in the Regenerative Organic Certification (ROC) Framework.
→ Minimal Soil Disturbance / No Tillage - As defined in 2.3 Minimal Soil Disturbance in the ROC Framework.
→ Rotational Grazing and/or Rotational Crops - As defined in 2.2 Crop Rotations and 2.4 Rotational Grazing in the ROC Framework.
→ Animal Integration - Defined broadly as using animals to improve soil health. By integrating livestock in the ongoing land management, farmers can naturally fertilize the soil and increase the soil’s organic matter from the animals’ manure, thereby improving the long-term health and sustainability of the land.
→ No Deforestation - As defined in 1.4 Deforestation in the ROC Framework.
3. Hectares of Land with Regenerative Organic Certification (ROC)
Definition: Area of land that was controlled and operated under a Regenerative Organic Certification (ROC), including Bronze, Silver, and/or Gold levels of certification.
4. Hectares of Land Impacted
Definition: Area of organically managed land, regeneratively managed land, and/or Regenerative Organic Certified (ROC) land.
Outcome KPIs — Soil Health
1. Soil Organic Carbon
Definition: Amount of organic carbon within a gram of soil for the most representative plot of land sampled during the reporting period.
- In sampling the soil for soil organic carbon, organizations may follow the Regenerative Organic Alliance's Soil Sampling Guidelines.
2. Bulk Soil Density
Definition: Soil compaction within a gram of soil for the most representative plot of land sampled during the reporting period.
- In sampling the soil for bulk density, organizations may follow the Regenerative Organic Alliance's Soil Sampling Guidelines.
3. Soil pH Level
Definition: pH level of the soil for the most representative plot of land sampled during the reporting period.
- In sampling the soil for pH level, organizations may follow the Regenerative Organic Alliance's Soil Sampling Guidelines.
The scope of these metrics includes land directly controlled by the organization (i.e., land for which the organization controls land use through direct operation or management) and land indirectly controlled, supported, or influenced by the organization (e.g., purchase contracts, sourcing from farmer cooperatives, and providing products or services to farmers that cultivate and manage land).
Interested in learning more about the Regenerative Agriculture working group? Email us at email@example.com!
Interested in joining Proof’s Regenerative Agriculture community to gain access to resources, training, and community discussions? Join the Proof Sustainability Community now!
About Trailhead Capital
Trailhead Capital is a mission-driven investment firm seeking to create outstanding financial, societal, and ecological returns by backing entrepreneurs who are building the regenerative future of food and agriculture.
Thank you to our other Proof Regenerative Agriculture Working Group participants for their ongoing contributions to this series of resources:
- Adele Durfey, Clear Frontier
- Alessia Lenders, SLM Partners
- Antonio Azevedo, Luxor Group
- Brandon Welch, Mad Capital
- Chris Zuehlsdorff, Iroquois Valley
- Dave Nicola, CamoAg
- Jeff Moyer, Rodale Institute
- Jessamine Fitzpatrick, Alder Point Capital
- Lena Horvath, Refood VC
- Mike Kime, iSelect
- Will Reagan, Nextwave X Partners