#33 - Regen Organic Grain Rotations + Big Food's Regen Reality Check + NEXTY Winners

The ReGen Brands Weekly

Weekly episodes, news, and insights from the world of regenerative CPG

Brought to you by The ReGen Brands Podcast

This Week’s Episode:

#47 - Jason Freeman @ Farmer Direct Organic


  • 🧑‍🌾 Starting out as a 3-farmer Canadian Co-Op

  • 📈 Becoming a national brand sourcing from 60+ farmers in 3 countries

  • 🏛️ How working on hemp policy reform led him to sell organic food

  • 🚀 Building a business off of demand from Whole Foods’ bulk bins

  • 😯 Why the Great Recession inspired their pivot to retail

  • 😂 Jason saying no to Whole Foods and what changed his mind

  • 💥 Exiting the brand as an employee, acquiring it, and then selling it

  • 😡 The massive problems with organic fraud

  • 💰 Supporting farmers transitioning to Regenerative Organic Certified®

  • 😍 Their current ROC® SKUs and what is coming next

“We’re taking all the risk on the certification fee and they're getting a significant premium on those products. So the first year that we did it, the prevailing price for organic oats was about six bucks a bushel. You can maybe get $7 or $8 a bushel if you had a gluten-free status. For ROC®, we offered farmers $12 / bushel.”

Jason Freeman


  • Don’t have time for the full episode? 😵‍💫 

  • Check out the recap! 🙃 

  • Everything you need to know in less than 5 minutes. 🥳

ReGen Brand News:

  • Gruff - Ancient Grain Grits (Best New Certified Organic or Regenerative Product)

  • Painterland Sisters - Plain Organic Skyr Yogurt (Best New Meat, Dairy or Animal Based Product)

  • Atlantic Sea Farms - Spicy Gochujang Seaweed Salad (Best New Plant-Focused Product)

  • GoodSAM Foods - Brave Day Coffee (Best New People-Forward Product)

Credit: New Hope Network

  • FAIRR has released a new report examining regenerative agriculture commitments from publicly listed agri-food firms.

    • 50 / 79 companies worth USD 3 trillion mention regenerative agriculture initiatives in their disclosures.

    • Only 36% (18/50) have quantified company-wide targets for regenerative agriculture.

    • Just 16% (8/50) discuss metrics and data, with only four companies having established baselines to measure progress.

    • Only 8% (4/50) have targets to financially support farmers to deploy regenerative practices.

  • Multinational food giants have filled endless press releases with talk of their commitment to regenerative agriculture, but with no agreed definition of the term it’s impossible to measure what progress they’re making or hold them to account for failing to keep their promises.”

  • Investors will want to see measurable targets that match companies’ stated ambitions on regenerative agriculture if they are to ensure they don’t fall foul of anti-greenwash regulations.”

🏃‍♂️ Quick Hits:

👉 Unilever has released “impact results” from its 1st set of regenerative agriculture projects.

🍔 Hopdoddy has removed plant-based offerings from its menu and is partnering with Force of Nature to source regenerative beef and bison for 5 menu items. Hopdoddy is encouraging customers to “Save the Planet... One Bite at a Time.”

🍺 Commercializing Kernza has been a challenge, but beer may be a bright spot for creating a more robust future market.

🍚 Lundberg Family Farms’ decades-long commitment to regenerative organic farming is yielding exciting new partnership with top chefs.

💰 NUU, a regenerative cassava-based food brand in Brazil has raised $4M in their Series A financing.

🥇 Lotus Foods Organic White and Brown Basmati Rice has achieved ROC® Gold, making Lotus Foods Basmati Rice the first and only ROC® Gold rice.

🌽 Zack’s Mighty wants you to try the world’s first tortilla chip made with certified regenerative corn.

ReGen Brand Jobs:

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