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What Does the New Regenerative Organic Certification Mean for the Future of Good Food?

Several new labels introduced last week seek to move beyond USDA organic. Can they shore up sustainable practices, or will they sow consumer confusion?

Organic is not enough. Or that’s the thinking behind the new (ROC) that was officially launched at the Natural Products Expo West trade show last week. The Regenerative Organic Alliance, a coalition of organizations and businesses led by the Rodale Institute, Patagonia, and Dr. Bronner’s, have joined the seemingly  sustainable agriculture beyond the term “organic,” or, as some believe, bringing it back to its original meaning.

“[The USDA] Organic [label] is super important—thank goodness it was put into play,” says Birgit Cameron, senior director of Patagonia Provisions, an arm of Patagonia that aims to solve environmental issues by supporting climate-friendly food producers. “The ROC is absolutely never meant to replace it, but rather to keep it strong to the original intention.”