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What's the difference between Organic and Regenerative Farming?

Regenerative Agriculture is the buzzword everyone in the food industry is talking about, and we’re here to answer your questions! This innovative approach to farming is focused on carbon sequestration, making it a key player in mitigating the effects of climate change.

As the demand for sustainable and eco-friendly food production grows, it's important to understand the different farming practices that help meet these needs. Two popular methods are organic farming and regenerative farming. While both prioritize the environment and health, they take distinct approaches and have unique goals. 

What is Regenerative Farming?

Definition and Principles Regenerative farming goes beyond sustainability, aiming to restore and enhance the health of the entire ecosystem. This holistic approach focuses on rebuilding soil health, increasing biodiversity, improving the water cycle, and most importantly, sequestering carbon. By capturing carbon in the soil, regenerative farming helps combat climate change and create resilient agricultural systems.

Key Practices of Regenerative Farming

  1. Soil Health: Regenerative farmers prioritize soil health through practices like no-till or low-till farming, cover cropping, and diverse crop rotations. These methods enhance soil structure, increase organic matter, and promote beneficial soil microorganisms.
  2. Biodiversity: A core principle of regenerative farming is promoting biodiversity at all levels, from the microbes in the soil to the plants and animals on the farm. This diversity creates a more resilient and productive ecosystem.
  3. Water Management: Regenerative practices aim to improve the water cycle by enhancing the soil's ability to absorb and retain water. Techniques like keyline design and creating water-retaining landscapes are common.
  4. Integrated Animal Systems: Livestock is integrated into the farming system in a way that mimics natural ecosystems. Rotational grazing and pasture-raised animals help improve soil health and plant growth.

Regenerative farming seeks to create systems that are not only sustainable but also regenerative—capable of rebuilding and revitalizing the environment. This approach emphasizes continuous improvement and adaptation, aiming to leave the land in better condition for future generations.

What is Organic Farming?

Definition and Principles Organic farming is all about using natural processes and materials to grow crops and raise livestock. This practice avoids synthetic chemicals, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and artificial fertilizers. Instead, organic farmers use natural inputs and techniques to keep the soil healthy and control pests.

Key Practices of Organic Farming

  1. Soil Health: Organic farmers use compost, green manure, and crop rotation to boost soil fertility. These methods increase the organic matter in the soil, making it healthier and more nutrient-rich.
  2. Pest and Weed Control: Natural predators, biological pesticides, and manual weeding are used to manage pests and weeds, reducing the need for synthetic chemicals.
  3. Animal Welfare: Livestock in organic farming systems are raised in natural conditions, with access to outdoor spaces and organic feed, promoting better health and welfare.
  4. Biodiversity: Organic farms often grow a variety of crops and maintain habitats for beneficial insects and wildlife, promoting biodiversity.

Certification and Standards

Organic farming is regulated by strict standards and certification processes. In the United States, the USDA Organic, CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers), and ROC (Regenerative Organic Certified) certifications ensure that products meet specific criteria, giving consumers confidence in the organic label.

Comparing Organic and Regenerative Farming


  • Both practices prioritize the use of natural inputs and avoid synthetic chemicals.
  • They promote biodiversity and aim to create healthier ecosystems.
  • Animal welfare is a key concern in both systems, emphasizing more natural living conditions for livestock.


  • Scope and Goals: Organic farming focuses on maintaining soil health and avoiding harmful chemicals, while regenerative farming aims to restore and enhance the entire ecosystem, with a broader focus on climate change and long-term sustainability.
  • Soil Management: Regenerative farming places a greater emphasis on practices that actively rebuild soil health, like no-till farming and cover cropping.
  • Certification: Organic farming has well-established certification processes and standards, such as USDA Organic, CCOF, and ROC, while regenerative farming is still developing its certification criteria and standards.