We are very proud to announce that we are partnering with Land to Market Australia, becoming their first foundation market partner. Land to Market was first launched in the United States by the Savory Institute, whose mission is the large-scale regeneration of the world's degraded grasslands through Holistic Management.
Land to Market aims is to create a shared understanding of the promise of regenerative agriculture. To establish a credible and transparent verification program based on actual ecological outcomes and to foster grassroots demand for products derived from regenerative land management practices.
The backbone of the program is a certification, which rooted in science; focuses on results and outcomes, meaning data-points of soil and landscape health among other things must exhibit improvements from year to year. The certification is coined ‘Environmentally Outcome Verified’ (EOV) and is the first of it’s kind. This allows producers to position their products advantageously and differentiate themselves in the marketplace as regeneratively verified produce.
Land to Market Australia will validate farmers who see positively trending outcomes in soil health with their EOV seal (shown below).
Using the EOV™ seal, brands and retailers will be able to trace their sourcing to producers who are having a positive impact on the land. This will allow mindful consumers the ability to support producers who are farming ecologically.
The Holistic Management framework includes livestock farming tools that imitate the natural grazing of wild herd animals. Allan Savory (founder of the Savory Institute) has gained attention promoting the environmental benefits of well managed grazing livestock (watch his TED talk here). He argues that healthy, fully functioning grassland ecosystems cannot be sustained without the presence of grazing animals. Savory explains that because grazing herds have coevolved with soil and it’s grasslands, the health of soil is reliant on the positive impact that grazing animals provide.
Some of the benefits of holistic management include the stimulation of plant growth, natural fertilization, increased soil water retention and an enhancing of the soil’s carbon content. Nutrition wizard Chris Kresser and his podcast guest Diana Rodgers explain how this occurs.
“As they’re walking around, their hoof prints are actually making little indentations which help hold water, and they’re chewing on the grass which stimulates growth. When you cut grass it grows. We don’t want the grass to just biologically break down on its own. We want it to be chewed, digested, and spit out the other end with microbes in it, and that’s really the healthiest way to do it. And then, we want to be moving them around, so we don’t want the animals on the same piece of land all the time. We want to be mimicking what natural herds have been doing forever because they’ve been migrating, and moving away from predators.”
Holistic planned grazing involves moving cattle sequentially from one paddock to another. The farmer must keep a close eye on their activity, and choose when to move the animals onto the next regenerated pasture. This allows grasslands to recover from grazing and mimics the free movements of wild herds.
Importantly, Land to Market Australia helps track the improvement in soil health through their Ecological Outcome Verification assessment.
Land to Market Australia is a grassroots movement and our partnership is a commitment to championing their cause by growing consumer awareness to the benefits of regenerative farming. As the number of EOV accredited producers increases, we hope to eventually source all our beef from EOV farmers.
Our primary goal at Barbell Foods has always been to make the world’s healthiest biltong, built on sustainable and ethically farmed meat. Holistic management practices are important to us because they substantially enhance the health of cattle and the health of the land. Soil that is farmed holistically will be more biologically alive, with increased carbon content and more diverse organic matter, leading to healthier grass and in turn, healthier cows.
Allan Savory’s Land to Market movement has a monumental vision and he believes adopting holistic farming practices can help reverse the trend toward desertification of our grasslands and slow the advent of global warming through carbon retention in soil; thereby protecting future harvests.
We're excited at the prospect of helping to make the world a more inhabitable place for future generations and are proud to be a foundation market partner of Land To Market Australia.
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