Pasturebird and Land to Market - a “Natural” Fit
If you check out our website frequently (you should, it’s awesome!), you may have noticed the exciting announcement that we’ve partnered with Land to Market. Land to Market offers an outcome based regenerative certification, meaning that it holds companies accountable to the claims they make about regenerating the Earth through their agriculture or production practices. As a company that’s fully invested itself into accountability and transparency, this was a natural fit for us. And we love that there’s someone out there holding businesses and farms accountable to ensure their production practices benefit the environment, rather than deplete it.
So What Exactly is Land to Market?
Land to Market is a program facilitated by the Savory Institute , a non-profit focused on large-scale regeneration of the earth’s grasslands through Holistic Management. The aim of Land to Market is to support regenerative agriculture and the companies who endeavor to change their environmental impact by abiding by regenerative principles. Land to Market offers a mechanism by which companies can maintain transparency throughout the supply and value chain, and by which consumers can ensure that the companies they choose to support are living up to their promises when it comes to making a positive environmental impact and helping to combat climate change.
Land to Market uses a practice called “Ecological Outcome Verification” to measure land regeneration through the following properties:
Ground Cover - cover crops are used after grazing or harvesting to keep soil protected from erosion and increase water retention, while increasing soil fertility and quality
Water Infiltration - this refers to the soil’s capacity to allow water to permeate. It’s the process by which the soil temporarily stores water and makes it accessible for plants and other life in the soil’s microbiome. In regenerative agriculture, the water infiltration rate measures how long it takes the soil to absorb surface water. Healthy soil has sponge-like properties that absorb the water rather than allowing surface run-off. This reduces the need for irrigation and can help farmers become more water independent, which is especially helpful in times of drought.
Biodiversity - quite literally, biodiversity is the diversity of life. In terms of agriculture and specifically, soil, biodiversity relates to the mix of living organisms in the soil. The more plentiful the biota of the soil, the healthier it is. Regenerative agriculture embraces biodiversity of soil and surrounding areas not only to increase the health of the soil, but to make a positive contribution to environmental sustainability as a whole.
Soil Carbon and Soil Health - soil carbon is the amount of carbon stored in soil, and it is crucial for soil health. Modern farming practices have caused more carbon to be released from the soil than is produced, but regenerative agriculture practices aim to balance the carbon content in soil and replenish soil health, fertility, and water retention.
Ecological Outcome Verification was developed by scientists, regenerative land managers, and environmental non-profits such as The Nature Conservancy, and is a measurable metric of the positive impact of regenerative agriculture practices. Rather, as Land to Market puts it; “a scalable and affordable methodology that farmers and ranchers can use to measure regenerative outcomes on their land.”
Simply put, Land to Market measures the efficacy of a company’s regenerative agriculture practices, giving the farm or business an in depth measurement of the positive impact of their efforts, and giving conscientious consumers a verified way to make sure that the companies they support are the real deal.
Built for Transparency
Here at Pasturebird, our mission is to see agriculture reinvented in our lifetime. Our business exists to show that you can be ecologically responsible and profitable at the same time. Land to Market supports companies like ours whose mission goes beyond the bottom line to making a lasting positive impact on society and the environment with our actions.
At Pasturebird, we were consumers before we were farmers, and we wish an organization like Land to Market had been around when we were trying to find ethically-produced food to support our focus on wholesome nutrition and a mostly paleo lifestyle. One of the main reasons we started Pasturebird was the feeling of helplessness we had when trying to find honest companies producing environmentally sustainable food and instead found a lot of misleading labels and clever marketing tactics. We didn’t feel it was possible to trust that the labels on our food were actually indicative of the ethics and standards by which it was grown or produced. We were tired of the “greenwashing” that was commonplace in the conventional agriculture industry and we decided that if we wanted to be able to trust our food sources, we may as well produce it ourselves!
Land to Market takes this sort of guessing game out of the equation. While other certification programs exist to monitor companies’ focus on animal welfare, worker welfare, fair trade or safe chemical usage, Land to Market is the first certification program to focus on regeneration of the land and positive environmental impact. To date, Land to Market has monitored more than 2.5 million acres of land. For businesses that center around animals on pasture, Land to Market provides a way to communicate to their customer base their commitment and dedication to regenerative agriculture practices.
According to Land to Market, their program “gives the land a voice [and] empowers consumers by enabling them to play a role in healing nature through their purchasing decisions.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, and this philosophy is completely aligned with our mission here at Pasturebird - to improve agriculture, and to empower our consumers by offering a way for everyone to enjoy affordable and accessible pasture raised poultry. We’re proud to be a member of Land to Market, and we think it’s important to highlight their mission and the mission of our fellow members to make a positive environmental impact and produce ethical and sustainable goods through a commitment to regenerative agriculture practices. Any company or farm that holds themselves accountable to a higher standard and invites transparency is a company worth supporting, and Land to Market makes sure to bring companies and consumers together to make that support easier than ever.