Public Comments on Defining “Regenerative Agriculture”

Submitted by Sun+Earth Certified to the California Department of Food and Agriculture

March 4, 2024

To the California Department of Food and Agriculture:

Sun+Earth Certified is a nonprofit organization, which certifies regenerative organic sungrown cannabis and whose standards extend beyond those of both the USDA Organic and OCal programs to include worker rights and community engagement. Sun+Earth Certified is the leading regenerative organic cannabis certification in California.

The evidence is clear that regenerative organic agriculture is imperative to the health of consumers as well as the fight against climate change, and the negative environmental and social impacts of industrial agriculture. The cannabis industry is no exception. A “regenerative organic” approach is healthier for the planet and the people.

It is our strong recommendation to include organic farming practices as the foundation of “regenerative agriculture” and to mandate a holistic framework that incorporates protection of farmworkers and neighboring communities. Creating and adhering to rigorous standards and guidelines is a crucial counterbalance to corporate interests that are susceptible to “green-washing” which will undermine those standards and create consumer confusion.

A failure to exclude pesticides and other toxic chemicals from regenerative farming practices will inevitably fall short of fulfilling the framework for soil health as defined by the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Therefore, Sun+Earth Certified wholeheartedly endorses the department’s efforts to define “regenerative agriculture,” and urges the inclusion of organic farming practices as a foundation of that definition.

Photo credit: HappyDay Farms