Image credit: Will Brinkerhoff

Redefining Value and Risk in Agriculture

In June 2020, the Berkeley Food Institute and UC Berkeley School of Law’s Center for Law, Energy & the Environment convened farmers, policy experts, advocates, investors, and other stakeholders in the farming community for a virtual roundtable on public-private solutions to advance regenerative agriculture. We agreed on the problem, yet our diverse perspectives necessitated discussion of the broad range of potential and existing solutions.

The group’s recommendations include:

  1. Develop a More Robust Research Base: Research institutions should advance the scientific case for regenerative agriculture and standardize measurement protocols
  2. Reform Crop Insurance: Congress and the US Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management: Agency should reform crop insurance to reflect the risk reduction benefits associated with regenerative practices
  3. Redefine Risk: Federal and state governments, banks and investors should account for the risk reduction benefits of regenerative practices and reflect those benefits in financing and direct payments
  4. Advance State-Level Policies: State governments should expand investments in effective existing policies like incentive programs and peer-to-peer support network initiatives
  5. Prioritize Equity in Agricultural Policies: Government at all levels should develop more integrated and equitable systems to serve farmers, such as streamlined technology platforms and more robust technical assistance
  6. Urge Landowners and Supply Chain Actors to Enable Regenerative Production: Landowners and supply chains should help promote regenerative farming among tenants and farmers by incorporating flexibility into contracts and removing barriers

Download the full report.