Regenerative and Organic, what’s the difference?

Monday 1st January 2024

To mark the beginning of Regenuary weve teamed up with mygreenpod to bring you up to speed with the growing agricultural moo-vement regenerative farming’. Take a closer look to discover the relationship between regenerative and organic as we explain what they mean and how they are different.  My Green Pod Editor Katie Hill explains:

Our Herbal Lays
Our Rich and Nutritious Herbal Lays

The planet is enduring a ‘climate crisis’ yet as we look to make more sustainable lifestyle choices, we often forget one of the world’s biggest carbon outlets, agriculture, and food production. Industrial agricultural practices have degraded our soils on a global scale, releasing carbon that has been stored in the ground for thousands of years. In fact, one-third of the 30% increase in greenhouse gases over the last 100 years can be attributed to industrial agriculture.

With this in mind The Science Based Targets initiative have challenged the FLAG (Forestry, Land and Agriculture) Sector to remove 32 Gigatonnes of carbon from the atmosphere within the next 30 years. Yeo Valley Organic owner Tim Mead is confident that through soil carbon sequestration this can be achieved. “We need to get the right leaves above ground, the right roots below ground and the right animals on the land so farmers can remove CO2 from the atmosphere and store it in the soil.”

Our Cows Enjoying their Diverse and Nutritious Diet
One of our Cows Enjoying their Delicious, Diverse, and Nutritious Diet

Organic is regenerative but regenerative isn’t always organic

With almost 50% of agricultural lands moderately to severely degraded, and agriculture responsible for 70% of the world’s freshwater use, ‘regenerative agriculture’ practices are being hailed an important lever to restore soil health, increase climate resilience, protect water resources, biodiversity, and enhance farmers’ productivity and profitability. As an internationally recognised and legally binding standard, the organic standard truly is a regenerative approach. However, unlike the strict standards for organic certification, regenerative agriculture currently lacks a universal legally accepted definition meaning it is far easier to implement regenerative practices than it is to obtain organic certification.

A stepping stone to organic

Our Agroforestry Project at Hazel Manor
Our Agroforestry Project at Hazel Manor aims to increase the lands Bio-diversity

Considering only 2% of the British food is organic regenerative agriculture offers a viable alternative for the remaining 98% of UK food producers. It’s a great starting point and can be a potential stepping stone toward implementing further organic practices. Enhanced soil health, on-farm biodiversity, and water quality are just a few of the countless benefits that occur as a result of regenerative farming. Conversely, monocropping, sustainable intensification, and the use of artificial fertilizers and pesticides pose a serious environmental risk. Creating biodiversity is impossible when monocropping is practiced. Currently, just four crops make up 60% of our global calorie consumption therefore how can we expect to see diversity in our environment when we have such a lack of diversity in our diets.

Our Regen manager Tom White discussing all things soil with ethnobotanist James Wong
Our Regen Project Manager Tom White discussing all things soil with ethnobotanist James Wong

Seeking a joint solution

‘Biodiversity loss and food and nutrition insecurity are closely related problems that need a joint solution’, said João Campari, WWF’s global food practice leader. João was speaking ahead of COP28, at the publication of an open letter containing an urgent call to integrate a food systems approach within the UNFCCC. The letter, issued by a global coalition of 70 high-profile individuals and organisations, including WWF, urged parties to the UNFCCC to acknowledge the critical role of food systems – including food production, consumption and waste, land use change and nutrition – in achieving the Paris goals. Agriculture has a decisive role to play. Adopting regenerative farming principles could be the way to achieve the scale and pace of change necessary if we are to keep 1.5 alive and nourish a growing population as the climate crisis unfolds.

Find out more

For information about organic agriculture and to find businesses certified to organic standards, visit

To discover more hot topics and learn about key issues and environmental news visit My Green Pod.


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