Partner Spotlight: General Mills
Farmers and ranchers have enormous capacity to innovate. As a growing number of farmers are demonstrating, focusing their innovation on restoring the agricultural ecosystem has positive impacts on the farm business, farm community, and entire food systems. At General Mills, we believe in the regenerative capacity of agricultural innovation, which is why we have decided to focus on regenerative agriculture as a key initiative for the next decade and beyond. Regenerative agriculture is a holistic, principles-based approach to farming and ranching that achieves positive social and environmental outcomes. At General Mills, we have begun to engage this movement and grow its potential to restore agricultural ecosystems and livelihoods by piloting strategies across our brands and key ingredient sourcing regions.
- Some brands are segregating supply chains, enabling them to deliver premiums or differential contracts to farmers implementing regenerative principles. Other brands are seeking to grow the human and social potential of key sourcing regions to generate and spread regenerative agricultural knowledge by investing in education, one-on-one coaching, and farmer peer learning groups.
- Through a partnership with FFAR and the Ecosystem Services Market Consortium, General Mills is piloting an approach to quantify and pay farmers for the ecosystem services they provide through regenerative agriculture, like reduced greenhouse gas emissions, soil carbon sequestration, and clean water.
Across all pilots, we are conducting research with the help of partners like FFAR to develop scalable approaches for monitoring critical outcomes like soil health, biodiversity, water quality, and farm economic resilience at scale, and to advance our understanding of the impacts of regenerative agriculture.
Ultimately, we believe that by supporting farmers’ and ranchers’ capacity to innovate, orienting it toward the regeneration of agricultural ecosystems and communities, and tracking progress by quantifying a holistic set of outcomes, the food and agricultural industry can begin to realize it’s true regenerative potential.
Steve Rosenzweig, PhD, and Senior Soil Scientist at General Mills
Steve Rosenzweig, PhD, is a Senior Soil Scientist at General Mills, where he leads regenerative agriculture research and outreach programs. He works to accelerate farmer adoption of regenerative agriculture and measure the impacts on soil, water, biodiversity, climate, and farm economics in key ingredient sourcing regions. Prior to joining General Mills in 2017, he received his PhD in Soil and Crop Sciences from Colorado State University, where he researched the link between soil health and farm economics, and the sociology of farmer decision-making in dryland cropping systems.