Regenerating Big Food

Authors: Susanne Freidberg*, Dartmouth College
Topics: Cultural and Political Ecology, Food Systems, Economic Geography
Keywords: agriculture, supply chains, sustainability, regenerative
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/7/2021
Start / End Time: 4:40 PM / 5:55 PM
Room: Virtual 38
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Over the past several years, public commitments to supply chain sustainability goals have become the norm for major food industry actors. Now, however, some of the biggest players have declared that it is no longer enough for the farms supplying their raw materials to be sustainable; they must be regenerative. Time-bound commitments to convert millions of acres to regenerative agriculture – on the part of Cargill, General Mills and Walmart, among others – have already drawn accusations of greenwash. But they have also intensified and drawn companies into debates about how to not only define regenerative agriculture but also measure, monitor and monetize its benefits. These latter concerns have in turn sparked the development of new technologies and ventures devoted to making on-farm regeneration knowable and profitable. This presentation considers what such developments might mean for the future of Big Food and its commodity supply chains.

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