Integrating Regenerative Agriculture for sustainable business growth


Mariano De La Canal

Global Client Lead

In an era marked by environmental concerns and the urgent need for sustainable practices, regenerative agriculture has emerged as a beacon of hope for the future production of food and fiber. This approach to farming goes beyond traditional industrial agricultural methods, aiming not only to sustain the land but also to heal and restore it, replicating the way nature works. Part 1 of this series develops further on what regenerative agriculture is, its key benefits, and challenges, while this second part focuses on how businesses can best approach its implementation.

Regenerative agriculture is not a new idea, and not all who practice these principles use the label. Indigenous communities have farmed, replicating the way nature works for millennia. But a whole new thing is for organizations to rediscover what it looks like in the 21st century, especially after decades in the path of industrial monoculture farming.

1. Develop a deep understanding of each context and its nuances

Regenerative agriculture is bound to a strong comprehension of biology (how nature works) and human culture, and their widely changing conditions across different markets and regions. It is not the same to practice regenerative agriculture in a small mountain village in Northern Italy as it is in the outer radius of a large city in the USA or in a remote rural community in Tanzania. Each place will have its own geography, weather conditions, native species (plants and animals), economic factors, social factors, cultural factors, historic background, infrastructure, level of digitalization, cellphone penetration, and the list goes on. On top of this, it is the level of awareness, knowledge, and commitment of the farmers, key allies in the equation. For any initiative to succeed, it will be crucial not only to run a full holistic assessment but also to create a solid foundation of shared knowledge with the key stakeholders, enabling regenerative farming to happen and thrive.

Regenerative Agriculture Soil

2. Design and pilot tailor-made initiatives across the entire value chain.

A purpose-driven organization should care as much for its suppliers and employees as it does for its customers. Suppliers’ needs must be equally studied as consumers’ needs and equally provided with tailored solutions. While regenerative agriculture already comprehends a large list of farming practices, there is still plenty of room for innovation, especially to overcome some of the common challenges around its implementation and the new insights that you might unveil for each specific region. New solutions can be implemented across the entire value chain, from producers to final consumers and could be anything ranging from tailored training programs for farmers to technical innovations, new partnerships, new products, services, or experiences, financial programs, communication campaigns, etc. This is a green field (quite literally), where almost everything is yet to be created. You can even go beyond agriculture and ask yourself and your team: How can we best adapt other processes of our value chain so they best reflect the way nature works? In which other ways can we support the restoration of the environment creating conditions for abundance?

3. Build solid business cases for scaling backed by data

In the long term, the current industrial farming systems are simply not viable from an economic point of view since they deplete and destroy the ecosystems they rely on to generate value and later profit. In the shorter term, extreme weather events such as droughts produce massive losses of crops that translate into scarcity and higher prices of available supply chain goods. However, these systems still generate a profit, so finance departments and investors need to be convinced of the economic benefits of shifting to a regenerative system.

A lot has been said and written on the cost of sustainability. It holds true that “cleaning up the mess” will be costly (especially when it comes to CO2 emissions and plastic waste), but it does apply to regenerative farming. While an investment will be needed to face the transition, once fully rolled out, regenerative systems have proven to be not just a good deal but a better one than traditional systems. It implies higher quality output, reduced costs (no use of fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemicals), carbon benefits, and, most importantly, resilience to extreme weather fluctuations.

Lastly, while it is less tangible and hard to measure, it produces other economic benefits such as the recovery of biodiversity and watersheds and carbon sequestration, aligning business with purpose and setting companies on the right track to comply with legislation, preventing potential fines and penalties and the negative reputational impact that comes with it. It will be crucial then to build comprehensive business cases taking into consideration all this data and its projection over time to convince decision-makers and investors of the benefits of the transition.

“To transition successfully, we must build data-backed business cases for regenerative agriculture, emphasizing its long-term benefits like quality, cost reduction, and environmental gains.”

Mariano De La Canal

Global Client Lead at propelland

Extra tip:

To endure over the long run, companies must regenerate the environments they are currently depleting. We are close to the point (if not already there) where even the short-term goals are being threatened by the misuse and abuse of natural resources and their consequences. However, it is hard to take the first step against a well-established and oiled system in a highly competitive environment. This is where the regulator has to step in and work for the creation and implementation of standardized frameworks that provide transparency, security, and a fair and competitive (or even collaborative) playground.

Instead of lobbying against (delaying or reducing in ambition) market regulation, companies have to advocate for it. The main goal of the public affairs department should not be trying to make the company look good in the eyes of shoppers and investors but to contribute to building the most favorable networked environment for the company to thrive. It is not just a matter of reputation but a matter of survival.

What market leaders are already doing

Companies on Regenerative Agriculture


As part of its detailed roadmap to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, the company aims to source 20% of its key ingredients through regenerative agricultural methods by 2025 and 50% of its key ingredients by 2030. To achieve this, it has developed specific tailor-made programs for some of their most relevant brands (Nescafé, KitKat, Gerber, etc.) with tailored initiatives and KPIs depending on the goods to be produced (coffee, cocoa, vegetables, etc.).


In 2021, PepsiCo announced a new 2030 goal to deploy regenerative farming practices across 7 million acres, an amount roughly equivalent to the global land footprint needed to supply crops for the company’s products. This initiative, part of the company’s broader pep+ ambition, simultaneously advances the company’s climate goals and its pledge to sustainably source 100% of its key ingredients by 2030. It also includes a third focus – improving the livelihoods of more than 250,000 people in the company’s agricultural supply chain and communities.


The company Is focusing its regenerative farming investments on critical commodities such as wheat, soy, corn, and rice. As part of this work, Walmart has partnered with the Midwest Row Crop Collaborative (MRCC), a cross-sector initiative focused on helping farmers in the Midwest (USA) adopt regenerative farming practices. Together, partners will work with 30,000 farming operations to advance regenerative farming practices across 30 million acres.


In 2021, Unilever released a set of Regenerative Agriculture Principles and implementation guides to enhance its longstanding Sustainable Agriculture Code. It also announced a partnership to explore the idea of an investment tool that will help accelerate the transition to regenerative agriculture.


Microsoft is investing in regenerative agriculture with a two-pronged approach: 1. by purchasing carbon credits linked to sustainable farming practices and soil health, and 2. by developing new technology that farmers can use in the field

The overarching principle of replicating the way nature creates conditions for life to thrive can be applied not only in farmland supplies but in any industry and at any stage of the value chain. But it will take a significant mindset shift and a lot of research and innovation. By embracing regenerative practices in their value chains, companies take a huge step forward in balancing purpose and profit, realigning core business activities with not just sustainable but regenerative impact. At propelland, we can help you understand the nuances of each natural and social environment, design and build tailor-made solutions, boost demand, and scale them in the chosen market while forging resiliency in the supply chains. All with a strong human-centered and collaborative approach and a “fail-fast/fail-cheap” methodology that enables your company to de-risk the innovation process while accelerating decision-making and reducing the time for innovation to reach the market.

Interested in exploring how Regenerative Agriculture can be implemented in your organization?

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