Kepak has committed to a new global framework for regenerative agriculture practices.

The framework, launched on Wednesday 27 September, by the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform (SAI) provides the industry with a globally aligned approach for the transition to regenerative agriculture practices, which are currently being implemented and tested on the Kepak farm in Dunboyne, Co Meath.

Kepak is the only beef processor globally to subscribe to SAI's new framework aims. Other global businesses including Nestlé, Danone, Unilever and PepsiCo have also committed to the new global standard.

"With climate change set to decrease the productivity of farming globally by up to 30%, we are at a critical moment for the agriculture industry.

'Systemic change'

"The Regenerating Together framework and broader programme unite the food and beverage industry to bring about large-scale, long-term systemic change to future-proof global food supply," Kepak said in a statement.

In collaboration with farmers, academia, NGOs and the committed businesses, SAI Platform has established an aligned approach to agriculture that aims to mitigate and adapt to the impact of climate change, improve soil health, support biodiversity, retain water in the soil and reduce its consumption while keeping farmers’ business viability central in a just transition approach.

The programme identifies four key areas of impact - water, soil, biodiversity and climate - and has devised four clear steps through which to enact the framework: risk screening assessment, outcome selection, the adoption of principles and practices and the monitoring and assessment of progress.

Kepak sustainability manager Rebecca Thomson said: "Having been part of the SAI Regenerative Agriculture steering committee for the past two years, Kepak have been involved in the development and piloting of the regenerative agriculture framework on supplier farms in the Ireland and the UK."

Based on the results, she said, the potential this has to provide clarity and consistency at farm level which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, restore and enhance water quality and biodiversity and regenerate soils.

SAI Platform director general Dionys Forster commented: "We are proud to be driving collaboration across the food and beverage industry at what is a critical moment for the sector.

"Regenerative agriculture is the way forward to ensure productivity and farm ecosystem viability - we must act now and further transition towards farming practices that protect the future of our planet.

"We look forward to continuing to work with our members and other industry players as we build towards this common goal.”