Uren is CEO of the Forum for the Future

Current approaches to producing food and other agricultural commodities used to make everyday essential products are contributing to ecosystem degradation, growing income inequality, a climate crisis, vulnerable farm communities and unequal access to healthy food.

Regenerative agriculture practices, which focus on revitalizing natural systems and ensure that equity and social justice are prioritized, have the potential to simultaneously solve many global challenges. Adopting them will require existing efforts to become more joined-up: We must shift the focus away from individual issues, such as soil health or farmer livelihoods and instead take a holistic approach. In doing so we can reorient the goals of the food system toward equitable economic prosperity that allows both people and the planet to flourish in the long term, rather than short term profits and productivity growth.

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Forum for the Future is working with more than 135 organizations, from farming communities to retailers and brands, to shift the U.S. food system toward regenerative outcomes. This is a blueprint for what can be achieved elsewhere. Through this initiative, we are opening the conversation to historically underserved farm communities, building new connections. We are also centering our work around the principles of racial justice and social equity, in addition to environmental incentives and outcomes.

Creating the conditions for systemic change is essential. Supporting the adoption of agricultural practices that are considered regenerative—such as planting cover crops or adopting no-till farming—is important, but transformative change will only happen if the wider enabling conditions, from policy to finance, are in place. That’s why we are fostering alignment and greater collaboration in this space.

As the remaining window to address the climate challenge closes and many of our indicators of inequality and human suffering head in the wrong direction, regenerative agriculture offers us hope and possibility for what can be achieved around the world.

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