This is a dynamic space, designed for the exchange of knowledge, ideas and reflections on Regenerative Food Businesses. It is a space where we share some of the learnings of the RFB project, in particular some conceptualizations and results of studies. At the same time, we share external studies and documents that inspire us and that we believe can contribute a lot to the process of maturation and understanding of the "regenerative" approach.

We hope that this space grows over time and that the information presented can contribute to the construction of new knowledge, dynamize actions and collaboration that allows us to strengthen the ecosystem of regenerative food businesses.

Forest seed collectors in the community of Ilha das Cinzas, Brazilian Amazon. Photo: Álvaro Zarate

Regenerative Food Businesses

We elaborated our narrative on what we understand to be Regenerative Food Businesses, based on a series of discussions carried out within the RFB consortium, developed based on the review of academic and technical literature, and other references that helped us building the understanding presented here.

At the same time, we are aware that this understanding is constantly evolving, always keeping in mind the challenge of moving towards regeneration in the different Latin American contexts.

Andiroba seed. Photo: Alvaro Zarate
Acai collector. Photo: Max Yamauchi

What are Regenerative Food Businesses for the Consortium?

Regenerative Food Businesses (RFB) are initiatives that prioritize the centrality of nature within the business approach to food production.

In the RFBs, the conservation, restoration and strengthening of ecosystems are central axes to the activities, purposes and value proposition of the business. At the same time, they are aligned with a comprehensive and holistic approach, seeking to ensure that equity, sociocultural justice and economic prosperity are distributed throughout the supply chain* and processes to which they are linked.

And what about Regenerative Agriculture?

Regenerative agriculture is a holistic management approach that, by prioritizing the centrality of nature, restores the health of living systems such as soil, biodiversity, water, and animal welfare, imitating ecological processes to generate productive systems which are more resilient. At the same time, it is a model that promotes equity, socio-cultural justice and economic prosperity in the productive context and integrates the different forms of knowledge, from the ancestral to the scientific-technological.

Agroforestry systems implemented in the Corageous Land business. Photo: Bruna Amante

What are the elements we consider essential in a regenerative food business?

In our opinion, what is the difference between a regenerative business and other types of businesses?

We believe that there are many approaches that are positively close in their procedures, although they also have differences. In this sense, we believe that the "name" or "label" used by a business (eg sustainable, agroecological, organic, etc.) or the practices that characterize that "name", is not what necessarily defines a RFB.

What we believe differentiates a RFB from any other type of business is its purpose of existence, its path to achieve its objectives that "yes or yes" seeks better scenarios for the natural, sociocultural and economical system where they are based. Constancy on their efforts and ways to change dominant negative patterns and paradigms in their context it is also taken into account.

Guarana producer. ASCAMPA Association. NESsT partner

The practices normally carried out by the regenerative approach share space with other lines of healthy agriculture for people and the planet. Therefore, the practice is not necessarily itself the differential.

Photo: Mabel Arcos
Photo by Thais Costa (@thaiiscosta)


The RFB seeks that horizon, regardless of whether it is named as agroecological, organic, sustainable, biodynamic, etc. If it brings a regenerative approach with practices that demonstrate the evolution business in its environmental-sociocultural-economic complexity, this business could be considered at least in the process of regeneration.

We consider that regeneration is a ¨process¨ which goes through complex levels of transition-action (still uncertain and clear in practice for us), but with a very clear objective and path towards where it intends to go.

How can we land the idea of transition towards a regenerative approach?

The effort to design the transition process towards a regenerative approach has already been studied by different authors, accessible in the repository at the bottom of this page. The RFB Consortium intends to move forward with a proposal to help measure these different stages of transition, based on the most closely studied experiences, during interviews and field visits to mapped businesses.

We hope that the particularities and limitations identified in the businesses studied will allow the development of strategies to measure this "regenerative evolution" in a way that is grounded in the Latin American context. At the same time, for us it is essential that these instruments are accessible to the users of the HUB and serve to complement existing ideas or contribute to the evolution and maturation of that knowledge.

While we advance in this reflection, here we share two interesting transition proposals developed by different authors. One proposes a macro vision of this scenario, showing how this context is framed in different scales, until the integration of human consciousness to a biocentric level. The other makes a zoom in what that transition would be like from practice in different links of the supply chain.

Transition towards regenerative silvopastoral systems in the Pasto Vivo farm of LuxorAgro. Photo Bruna Lover

Levels of transition strategies

© All rights reserved. Regenesis 2000-2020 - Contact Bill Reed, bill@regenesisgroup.com for permission to use

How Good by Soloviev - Transition Practices

Ethan Soloviev "Copyright HowGood, Inc."
*For a broad understanding of users, we use the term "supply or value chain" in the text. We understand that it is a term that needs to be stripped of its negative connotations and we believe that the term "network" is more appropriate in that replacement. However, this one needs further conceptual elaboration and for that reason we chose to keep it provisionally.

Study materials

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Document type

suggest documents and materials

Eco-centric (nature in the center)

The eco-centric vision understands that our actions or businesses are aware of the natural base with which they interact and on which they are eco-dependent. The NARs know the available resources, their limits and opportunities, and based on that perspective they develop their business model and their actions. Therefore, the business shapes its practices according to the natural system to which it is integrated. In this case, the success of the business is not measured only by financial health, but centrally, by the health of the natural system in which it is based.


In the holistic view, the relationships and activities developed in the business context take into account not only the different parts of the system and their interactions, but also seek to understand each element of that system in its entirety and complexity. A business that starts from that vision is not limited to “short-term” reflections and actions: it understands the importance of long-term thinking and actions, which normally consider processes, interactions and indirect impacts.

Principle of conservation, restoration of ecosystems and biodiversity

Considering that the business is based on an eco-centric vision, it is essential that the conservation of available resources and their restoration is something constantly present in their practices and intrinsic to their business vision. At the same time, businesses can establish direct or indirect actions with that objective. There are businesses that are already born in a context in which conservation is something natural and inherent to their existence, there are others that embrace this proposal after its creation and evolve based on that logic.

Practices associated with that principle

- protection of forests on the farm and the landscape (ej. riparian forests).
- protects the physical, chemical and biological health of the soil
- promotes biodiversity
- allocates areas for restoration or natural regeneration
- supports or facilitates resources for restoration or conservation initiatives.
- promotes connectivity or the moevement of flora and fauna in the farm and landscape
- values the use of native species
- seeks the well-being of living beings
- does not use or minimizes the use of chemical inputs
- promotes generational education for conservation

Principle of synchronicity with natural cycles and processes

Synchronizing with natural cycles and processes means mimicking and taking advantage of the energy that the system provides for the development of actions. The circularity of resources is a way to make the most of that energy that is constantly transformed. This allows accelerating natural processes, lowering costs, avoiding productive inconsistencies that lead to significant economic losses, as well as strengthening the possibility that this natural system achieves greater resilience to face the impacts of climate change and other events.

Practices associated with that principle

- promotes a circular economy
- keeps the ground covered (eg: live or dead cover)
- minimizes soil tillage as much as possible
- Produces biological inputs with raw materials from the farm and landscape (eg: composting, bio-inputs)
- works with crops of the season
- works with the natural succession of species
- integrates perennial species into your systems
- diversifies, rotates and stratifies crops
- is efficient in the use of energy and water
- maximizes system resources
- maximizes biological relationships and biodiversity

Principle of equity and socio-cultural justice

We start from the assumption that the regenerative business approach seeks to ensure a fair distribution of benefits, opportunities, responsibilities, costs and burdens among the parties involved in and linked to the business. We believe that these initiatives inherently bring that proposal, where the social groups that make up the activities or the business chain* are part of their priorities, allowing and promoting joint growth and gender, ethnic or generational equity.

Practices associated with that principle

- promotes policies and actions inclusive of gender and vulnerable social groups
- strengthens and makes visible the role of women in supply chains*
- drives knowledge of people inside and outside the business
- provides an opportunity for the professional growth of employees
- regenerates the social fabric of communities
- values ancestral knowledge and its technologies
- promotes participatory governance of the business
- fairly distributes the profits of the business
- promotes and applies human rights
- are responsible for their actions and impacts on the landscape

Gender equality

We believe that gender equality should be a transversal principle to the business, since it seeks to guarantee the space of right, access and control, regardless of the sex or gender of the people. Initiatives are promoted that seek to compensate for gaps and historical disadvantages experienced by women, which are reflected in a proposal for changes in power relations within the business or in the supply chain* as a whole.

Integrate ancestral knowledge

Each multicultural context deserves a particular look. The knowledge of the different indigenous peoples and other traditional communities in Latin America is historically undervalued. Many of the production models and management, in addition to the various uses of biodiversity, are part of their knowledge, which have been appropriated by other narratives external to those peoples. This practical intelligence, experienced for decades and centuries, has much to contribute to new technologies and approaches to a regenerative business. Thus, it is essential to give visibility to this wealth of knowledge.

Principle of economic and financial prosperity

We believe that a regenerative business must be able to sustain itself financially and evolve, most of its practices, with financial independence while improving the natural system that it impinges and the communities with which it interacts. We understand that this viability allows access to the necessary resources for social well-being, health and other fundamental basic needs to the different members of the business, from owners and managers to workers. In the same way, this financial viability must not overlap the principles of justice and social equity, avoiding that internal benefits are generated over the damage of other actors distributed in the supply chain*. It is expected that, as the business achieves profitability, prosperity will be fairly distributed in its context.

Practices associated with that principle

- promotes the circular economy
- distributes fair profits in the supply chain*
- generates stable cash flow
- prioritizes short marketing chains*
- promotes transparency in resource management

Principle of food and nutrition security and sovereignty

Food and nutrition security and sovereignty (FNSS) is an explicit objective for a RFB. From the type and quality of food offered, to the way that this business, directly or indirectly, contributes to strengthening the FNSS in its context or supply chain*. We believe that this contribution to food should not originate from doubtful sources, such as the use of transgenics or the type and quantities of inputs, which put the quality of food and people's health at risk.

Practices associated with that principle:

- offers healthy food
- prioritizes native species and ancestral use
- promotes underutilized or unconventional foods
- develops food and nutrition education initiatives
- does not use or gradually reduces to the maximum the use of agrochemicals
- does not use transgenics
- minimizes chemical residues in food and soil as much as possible
- seeks strategies to make the product economically accessible to different social groups

Individual/Farm Scale

This scale refers to food businesses whose action or impact is mainly limited to the farm land and directly benefits the family that owns the business or the group of entrepreneurs who own the business.

Local/Community Scale

Businesses that impact at the local or community level are businesses, associations and cooperatives, among others, that benefit a group of families directly, through the provision of employment or improvements in the socioeconomic and ecological context in the community of which it is a part. This type of business can actively involve the community in changing its practices and making opportunities for its future viable, or it can be a community-based business, created and managed by and for the benefit of the community.

Landscape Scale

The landscape scale is broader than the local scale, generally with thousands or millions of hectares. These landscapes can be a micro-watershed, watershed, ecosystems, a set of protected natural areas, municipalities, among others. It is the type of business that has a direct or indirect impact on territories and ecosystems that encompass several communities at the same time. As well as the local/community scale, this type of business can actively involve the community in changing its practices and making opportunities viable for its future or it can be a community-based business, created and managed by and for the benefit of the community.

Biome/Bioregion Scale

When we refer to a biome or bioregion, we are talking about territories that encompass a set of ecosystems that have common ecological characteristics and that are key to the social, cultural and environmental resilience of a territory. Generally, this scale can involve national or regional territories, in whole or in part. Businesses working at this scale have the capacity to impact different landscapes with direct and indirect impacts on different socio-cultural, economic and ecological contexts.