Building on more than 9 years of sustainability and ethical sourcing leadership, Open Farm became the first pet food company to set a regenerative agriculture goal earlier this month. By 2030, we're dedicated to advancing regenerative agriculture practices across one million acres of farmland. This commitment allows us to play an active role in addressing nature loss and the growing climate crisis by partnering with farmers to improve soil health—resulting in higher quality and more nutrient-dense ingredients for pets.
These urgent challenges we’re facing, like topsoil loss, biodiversity loss, and a climate crisis are caused by a handful of factors, but agriculture can play a role in mitigating the impacts and we’re excited to work with farmers to help drive positive change.
Since farmers began tilling, or plowing the soil to control weeds and prepare for seeding, 160 years ago the Midwest has lost nearly 60 billion metric tons of top soil to erosion. When topsoil erodes, so do the nutrients that crops need making it more difficult and expensive to grow nutritious crops. Tilling is also one way in which carbon stored in the soil is released back into the atmosphere, contributing to the climate crisis. Regenerative agriculture practices, like rotating crops, planting cover crops like winter wheat, or creating buffer zones around the edge of fields helps to reestablish root systems and draw down carbon into the soil.
With regenerative agriculture practices, we can address some of the biggest issues impacting our food systems. But in order to get started, we first had to understand more about our supply chain and the farmers and ranchers we source from. We worked with the Center for Regenerative Agriculture at the University of Missouri to create a survey to establish a baseline of regenerative practices within our supply chain. We were able to learn exactly which practices our farmers use and across how many acres. In 2022, we sourced from 550,000 acres of land, with 100,000 acres dedicated to regenerative agriculture. We are now using this data to determine where the hotspots are and how we can most effectively partner with our value chain to scale regenerative practices.
We’re committed to building a resilient supply chain and couldn't be prouder of the farmers and ranchers we work with today. Over the next seven years, we have a lot of work to do to get to one million regenerative acres, but we have confidence in our team, in our farmers and ranchers, and in our entire value chain. These partnerships enable us to lead as a growing company dedicated to producing nutritious food and treats for pets, all ethically sourced from farm-to-bowl.