Industry Task Force

Agribusiness Task Force

    Scaling Regenerative Agriculture

    The Sustainable Markets Initiative’s Agribusiness Task Force was launched in 2020 with the aim of accelerating the adoption of regenerative agriculture practices within the industry, while ensuring positive partnerships with the world's farmers.

    Former Mars Inc. CEO, Grant Reid, chairs the Task Force.

    The Current State of Play


    Despite clear long-term benefits, the rate of farmers adopting regenerative agriculture has been slow due to the costs of changing existing practices, the lack of knowledge on regenerative practices, and the misalignment of value chain drivers. According to sustainability analysts Systemiq, the regenerative farming growth rate must triple to reach 40% of global cropland, and deliver against the planet’s need to limit climate change to 1.5 degrees.

    What Business Can Do to Drive Change

    To progress the adoption of regenerative practices, the Agribusiness Task Force has focused on three value chain case studies - notably Basmati rice in India, potatoes in the United Kingdom and wheat in the United States. The findings from these case studies were shared in the Task Force's 2022 'Scaling Regenerative Farming: An Action Plan', which details five key issues which require urgent action to make regenerative farming more appealing to farmers. The Big Five are:

    • Costs: Create mechanisms to share the cost of farmers' transition with other stakeholders

    • Sourcing: Develop new sourcing models to share transition costs across the value chains

    • Income: Build farmers' income from environmental outcomes

    • Policy: Ensure government policy enables and rewards farmers for transitioning

    • Metrics: Agree on common metrics to measure environmental outcomes

    In 2023, the Task Force brought together the different members of the agribusiness value chain (e.g. financial institutions, food manufacturers, farmer organisations and others) to map out the levers that could unlock the Big Five issues. Four levers were identified and defined to be farmer-centric and practical. The Levers for Implementation are:

    • Financial: develop funding and de-risking mechanisms, and new sourcing models

    • Ecosystem Service Market: make environmental outcomes pay

    • Policy: ensure government policy rewards farmers on their transition journey

    • Metrics: set up common metrics to measure and monetise outcomes

    Put together, these four levers aim to provide farmers with a menu of options to choose from to start and continue their transition towards regenerative agriculture. This menu of options is what we call our Blueprint, and is made of financial incentives, de-risking mechanisms, technical support, and peer-to-peer support.

    The Task Force members, alongside financial institutions, are now looking to test this approach and deploy this menu of options on pilots in different regions. This implementation phase will serve to adapt and refine our approach to scaling regenerative agriculture.

    Task Force Members

    The Agribusiness Task Force is chaired by Grant F. Reid, former CEO of Mars Incorporated. The Task Force is comprised of leaders from the Agribusiness industry, including:

    Grant F. Reid

    Former CEO, Mars Inc. and non-Executive member of the Sustainable Markets Initiative

    Rodrigo Santos

    Member of the board of Management, Bayer

    Alexander Gillett

    CEO, HowGood

    Ron Hovsepian

    CEO, Indigo Agriculture

    Andrew Clarke

    Global President, MARS

    Max Koeune

    CEO, McCain Foods

    Paul Pomroy

    SVP International Operated Markets, McDonald's

    Dirk Van de Put

    CEO, Mondelēz International

    Sunny George Verghese

    CEO, Olam

    Ramon Laguarta

    CEO & Chairman, PepsiCo

    Patrick Holden

    CEO & Founder, Sustainable Food Trust

    James Bailey

    Executive Director, Waitrose & Partners

    Svein Tore Holsether

    President & CEO, Yara International

    Further Information

    For Task Force enquiries please contact: