CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, US — Adopting regenerative agriculture practices may boost consumer perception, strengthen trust and increase purchase consideration for sustainability-minded consumers, according to a new ADM report.

“Farming for the Future: The State of Regenerative Agriculture Program Adoption,” is based on survey data from both consumers and consumer product and retail decision-makers obtained through ADM’s proprietary consumer insights platform, Outside VoiceSM. The report builds on earlier ADM research by assessing the business drivers, opportunities and challenges for companies looking to adopt regenerative agricultural practices.

Earlier this year, ADM research showed that sustainability sourcing claims – and particularly sourcing claims regarding regenerative agriculture – had a positive impact on consumer purchase decisions. Building trust with consumers through regenerative agriculture was a key finding of the latest report released Nov. 8.

ADM said its most recent report reaffirms the promise and potential of regenerative agriculture practices to meet growing consumer demand for sustainably sourced products while building business resilience for the companies that meet those needs. Industrywide, revenue from regenerative agriculture is expected to grow to $32.29 billion in 2032 from $8.70 billion in 2022. 

Survey participants were provided with this regenerative agriculture definition: “Regenerative agriculture describes farming and grazing practices that, among other benefits, address climate change by rebuilding soil organic matter and restoring degraded soil biodiversity – resulting in both carbon drawdown and improving the water cycle.”

After learning more about regenerative agriculture, 73% of consumers agreed they would be more likely to trust retailers and brands that implement regenerative agriculture programs, and 72% agreed that they would be more likely to purchase from them.

“Our new research clearly shows that consumers are more interested in products that come from companies involved in regenerative agriculture — and executives understand the urgency to be one of those companies,” said Conrad Givers, vice president of strategic differentiation at ADM. “From our relationships with hundreds of thousands of farmers around the globe, to our unparalleled R&D and formulation expertise, to our unmatched global footprint, ADM is uniquely positioned to partner with both farmers and downstream customers to meet those growing consumer needs.”

The report showed retailers and consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands understand the opportunity and the urgency around regenerative agriculture. Of those that don’t currently have programs in place, 65% said their company plans to adopt a program in the next five years or sooner. And late adopters sense they’re falling behind. 

Decision-makers participating in the survey also agreed on the importance of finding the right industry partners to advance their regenerative agriculture goals. 

ADM has been working to implement and scale regenerative agriculture, partnering with downstream customers like PepsiCo, Nestle and Carlsberg; technology partners like Farmers Business Network; and conservation organizations like Practical Farmers of Iowa, Ducks Unlimited and American Farmland Trust. 

In addition, ADM participates in industry initiatives and coalitions such as Field to Market, Cool Farm Alliance, and Sustainable Agriculture Initiative, and leverages funding opportunities to bring more value to farmers, such as through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation as well as participation in USDA’s Partnership for Climate Smart Commodities. 

“To feed our growing global population for generations to come, we need to build resiliency into the land we farm and improve the health of the water and soil we depend on,” ADM said. ”Simultaneously, consumer demand for sustainably sourced products is growing, driven by a desire to see meaningful progress from the companies that serve them.”

ADM’s principles of regenerative principles are based on Indigenous ways of land managements and are adaptive to local physical conditions and culture. These principles include: Minimizing soil disturbance; maintaining living roots in soil; continuously covering bare soil; maximizing diversity with emphasis on crops, soil microbes and pollinators; and responsibly managing inputs including nutrients and pesticides.

ADM’s regenerative agriculture programs feature direct financial support for farmers, easy processes and cutting-edge technologies to ensure low barriers to entry, and a broad range of support and guidance from both internal and third-party experts. 

In 2022, the company enrolled 1,900 US producers representing more than 1 million acres, resulting in an estimated reduction of 253,000 tonnes of CO2e and sequestration of 115,500 tonnes of CO2. ADM has set a target to engage 4 million regenerative agriculture acres globally by 2025.

The report isavailable here.