Today, deforestation is one of the world’s biggest problems.
In the tropics, conventional farming for sugarcane, palm oil, cattle and more have caused an estimated 80 percent loss of rainforests in just the last few decades. Growing agricultural demand from an ever-increasing population has put a strain on our natural resources, which has degraded soil, created a lack of biodiversity and turned many forested areas into barren land.
What is regenerative agriculture?
Regenerative agriculture defines a set of organic farming methods that work with nature instead of against it. It seeks to reverse deforestation, restore degraded soil, increase biodiversity, improve water cycles and strengthen the health and vitality of an area, returning it back to its original, thriving state.
In 2014, we began investing in projects where ingredients for our own products could be grown in more natural environments. We wanted to invest in regenerative projects around the world, so we could begin finding solutions that would help revitalize communities and forests. With these projects, we had three goals in mind:
1. Put more trees in the ground
2. Put more money in the hands of farmers
3. Build an ethical business that can grow ingredients with 100 percent transparency
In Peru, rosewood trees sway in the breeze, while in the tropics, vanilla vines creep unimpeded up indigenous trees, which also offer vital shade for the burgeoning growth below. Across the ocean, fields of moringa and sesame sway in northern Uganda, and in the arid region of Arizona jojoba fields are being brought back to life with water-conscious methods in an area obliterated by water-intensive alfalfa for sustaining the meat industry. Learn more about our farms in Peru, Guatemala, Arizona and Uganda.
Beyond the borders of our farms, we’re also partnering with farmers in establishing their own plots. We’ll support them in recovering degraded land and share skills on how to grow crops with regeneration practices in mind. And when it’s time to harvest, we’ll be a guaranteed buyer, offering a fair price for their yield and supporting them in gaining access to other buyers and strengthening their foothold in the market.
Our hope is that the future of regenerative farming becomes a pathway to revitalizing land and supporting communities far beyond the land that we own. We want these projects to be far reaching and demonstrate that this kind of long-term, regenerative view of running a business is the way forward; where we’re protecting the environment, paying fair prices to workers and still thriving, so people, communities and the earth all benefit. So, the next time you buy a Lush product, you can also feel good knowing that you’re also investing in the future, too.