May 26, 2024

Regenuary: What it is it and how can your business support it?

Regenuary is an emerging trend in the food and drink industry that focuses on sustainability and the environment. Here, Mike Hardman from Alliance Online outlines how your business can get involved.

We’ve all heard of Veganuary, when people across the UK choose a meat-free diet for the whole of January. But, there’s a new trend emerging for those who still want to help out the environment without giving up any animal products and by-products entirely: Regenuary.

The idea first started when Ethical Butcher posted to Instagram encouraging consumers to choose “foods that are local, seasonal, and farmed using regenerative methods” in an attempt to support sustainable agriculture. The post took off, and businesses and consumers around the country are now wondering how they can focus on Regenuary to improve their carbon footprint.

So how can you get involved?

Whether you own a restaurant, butchers, or a farm shop, just follow some of the tips below to support Regenuary and invest in a more sustainable future.

Check the eco-credentials of your suppliers

A large part of Regenuary is choosing suppliers that practice regenerative farming methods. These techniques should not only help to protect the soil and biodiversity, but also improve it. So, try to buy from farms that:

  • Focus on topsoil health and regeneration
  • Reuse water
  • Increase biodiversity
  • Use grazing methods that limit soil disruption
  • Reduce nitrogen levels
  • Use organic fertilisers such as recycled farm waste

Grazing, pasture-fed animals are a vital aspect of regenerative farming. Grassland can help keep carbon in the ground, reducing its impact on the environment. And as animals feed on the grass, their waste helps to put vital nutrients back into the soil.

Whether you’re looking for fruit and veg, meat, or dairy, make sure you ask your suppliers all about their ethics. Do they follow any of the practices above? Are they doing their bit to help the environment? By choosing suppliers that do, your business will also be supporting the planet.

Plus, as consumers are becoming more conscious of where their produce comes from, you’re sure to gain more custom by being selective about which suppliers you work with, especially if they match up with the eco-credentials of your target audience.

The Pasture-Fed Livestock Association, which brings together farmers that follow more natural and eco-friendly farming methods, has a couple of handy guides that can help you find local meat and dairy producers that follow best pasture grazing practices.

Buy seasonal produce

Choosing seasonal produce can be beneficial for the environment as these crops will likely need fewer fertilisers and pesticides to grow and thrive. And, as Regenuary and regenerative farming is all about improving soil quality and reducing the reliance of pesticides and fertilisers (even organic ones), buying seasonal will help you support the cause.

You’ll also be less reliant on shipping out-of-season foods from abroad, meaning you’ll reduce your carbon footprint. If you’re unsure on what is in season and when, the Vegetarian Society has a handy guide to assist you.

Shop from local or UK-based suppliers

Due to the effects of the pandemic and Brexit, it’s now more important than ever to support your local, UK-based suppliers and businesses. Not only can this help to reduce your air miles and carbon footprint — since your food doesn’t have to travel as far to get to you — but it also means you can research your suppliers more thoroughly to ensure they’re following ethical and regenerative methods.

Buying local also means you’ll be able to get your produce more quickly compared to if you had to ship it from abroad.

Implement your own low-waste practices

Supporting Regenuary shouldn’t stop at your suppliers because there are ways you can implement your own low-waste practices in your business. Whether you choose to cut down on your packaging waste, offer discounts for ‘wonky’ produce, or reuse food scraps for soups and stocks, adopting your own low-waste methods can help support the cause.

You might also want to consider investing in high-quality equipment that’s less likely to break and be thrown away, especially if it’s supplied by a UK business rather than a manufacturer overseas. This can help to reduce your carbon footprint even further, as you won’t need to keep replacing your equipment and sending your broken tools to landfill quite as often.

Carry on after January

The more permanent you can make your changes, the better your impact on the environment. So, once you’ve committed your business to Regenuary, it’s important you keep these new practices going. Make sure you also communicate your efforts to your customers so they can spread the word about your good work.

This can help boost your customer base as more consumers choose your brand over one that doesn’t offer eco-friendly options. Plus, the more awareness you spread about the cause, the more businesses will get involved, and the more we can all work together to help our planet.

As farmers across the UK focus more on regenerative methods to help the environment, it’s important for businesses to support them. By following the tips above and committing to Regenuary, you can do your bit to help out.