Apr 19

A Primer on Regenerative Beef

If (like us) you’re interested in sustainable food, you’ve probably heard about regenerative agriculture. It’s a new-ish term without a specific definition, so just about everyone could use a little getting up to speed. While only 20% of consumers say they’ve heard of the term, a full 70% say the food they eat should be grown on farms that use sustainable practices (Source: Datassential, 2023 Food Trends.) Likely influencing these stats is that regenerative claims are moving onto the retail shelf, and starting to connect with animal agriculture, especially beef. 

What is regenerative agriculture?

While there is no official definition, regenerative claims most often tie to a few key environmental factors. The basic idea is that you’re producing food in a way that improves the environment where it’s raised. Rather than extracting resources, you’re leaving the soil healthier, increasing biodiversity, and capturing more carbon. The premise is that healthy soils grow healthy plants; and healthy animals!

Can you do that while raising beef?

In the right environments and with the right practices, yes! There are brands in Australia like Roots Regenerative, Argyle Foods and others doing just that. Raising beef entirely on grass is part of the equation, along with carefully managed rotational grazing and herd sizes matched to the land around them. When you get that right, the animals are naturally fertilizing the soil, maximizing carbon capture, retaining precious water resources, and generating healthier, more nutritious grasses and plants for the next time through the paddock. A virtuous cycle!

What does it look like?

This quick video will give you taste of what it can look like in Australia – a way of raising beef that’s good for the environment and the animals, that consumers and chefs can feel good about too.

Can foodservice operators buy regenerative beef today?

The short answer is yes. A handful of Aussie producers have regenerative beef brands that your meat supplier can access. If you’d like to get connected to supply in your area, give us a shout, we’d love to help.

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