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Call for WA agriculture to connect with opportunities presented by global regen trend

Headshot of Aidan Smith
Aidan SmithCountryman
Churchill Trust Fellow I-Lyn Loo in London at the Winston Churchill statue.
Camera IconChurchill Trust Fellow I-Lyn Loo in London at the Winston Churchill statue. Credit: I-Lyn Loo/supplied/I-Lyn Loo

The increasing focus on food corporates’ climate credentials has been identified as a key driver of regenerative agriculture globally in a new report.

WA Meat Industry Authority acting chief executive, and 2020 Churchill Trust Fellow, I-Lyn Loo, released her findings of research into the drivers and incentives for regenerative agriculture last week.

In her report, Ms Loo examined the drivers and incentives from the perspectives of consumers, corporates and investors, producers and government policy.

She said major food companies like Nestle, Pepsico and General Mills had committed to advancing regenerative agriculture practices as part of their strategy to achieve their climate reduction targets.

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“Pre-farmgate activities account for over 70 per cent of food supply chain greenhouse gas emissions,” Ms Loo said.

“Regenerative practices present an opportunity to reduce these companies’ Scope 3 emissions.”

Churchill Trust Fellow I-Lyn Loo with a dairy producer in Wisconsin, US.
Camera IconChurchill Trust Fellow I-Lyn Loo with a dairy producer in Wisconsin, US. Credit: I-Lyn Loo/supplied/I-Lyn Loo

Ms Loo called on the Australian agriculture industry to connect with the opportunities presented by this important global trend.

“With the strong global corporate and investor interest in advancing regenerative agriculture practices, the concept will have longevity,” she said.

“There are incredible market and investment opportunities for our agriculture industry, but we first need to have a constructive conversation about what regenerative agriculture means for Australia, our industry and our organisations.

“While regenerative agriculture practices differ depending on place and context, there is consistency in the definitions I came across during my travels.

“These outcomes-based definitions focused on improvements in natural capital, such as soil and biodiversity, and financial resilience of the producers.”

Ms Loo was awarded the Churchill Fellowship in 2020.

Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions she continued with her research and engagement locally within WA and using virtual means to connect with experts outside the State.

Bison in Custer State Park, USA.
Camera IconBison in Custer State Park, USA. Credit: I-Lyn Loo/supplied/I-Lyn Loo

In September 2022, Ms Loo travelled to New Zealand, the United States of America, Netherlands and United Kingdom for seven weeks to meet with 23 experts representing corporates, investors, not-for-profits, academia, government and industry.

She also attended the Regenerative Food System Investments Forum in Denver, Colorado and the Sustainable Landscapes and Commodities Forum in Amsterdam.

Ms Loo’s report is available on the Churchill Trust’s website - https://www.churchilltrust.com.au/project/to-investigate-drivers-for-regenerative-agriculture-to-incentivise-adoption-of-these-practices-in-australia/

The Churchill Fellowships were established in 1965 to honour the memory of Sir Winston Churchill, and to fulfil his wish for people from all walks of life to travel the world to gain new knowledge and insights.

Since its inception, 4500 Australians have been enabled to participate in that vision.

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