Farming beyond sustainable, that is how regenerative organic agriculture is described. It is a collection of practices that focus on regenerating soil health and the full farm ecosystem that have been devastated by growing food through industrial methods, according to the Regenerative Organic Alliance.
Going beyond organic certification, Regenerative Organic Certified® is a new certification for food, fiber, and personal care ingredients. Farms that are Regenerative Organic Certified meet the highest standards in the world for soil health, animal welfare, and farmworker fairness. The certification categories can be broken down into livestock, products, and crops.
While several farms around the globe have become regenerative organic certified, the highest concentration of certified farms seems to be in the Americas. Just last month, Yumi Date Company received their certification. “We are the first date farm in the world to receive it,” says Raul Peraza, Organic Specialist with the company. Yumi Dates grows Medjool dates on more than 2,730 acres of land, mostly located in Arizona with a smaller portion in California. Through the company’s sales team and in partnership with Bard Valley Date Growers under the Natural Delights Brand®, organic dates are sold all over the world.
Peraza is responsible for all the paperwork around the regenerative organic certification. “I keep track and record all practices during the entire growing process,” he said. Part of the certification is taking care of the soil. “We maintain a balance in the ecosystem where we grow our dates, from microbes in the dirt to help the land regenerate.” The other focus is on farmworker fairness, which includes equal opportunities, and fair payments. While the certification was just obtained last month, Peraza is already receiving inquiries from people that are interested in their Regenerative Organic Certified Medjool dates. “We want to make a positive impact on the farm at all levels, and potential customers seem to be genuinely interested.”