Natural pet treat and supplement maker, Zuke’s, is one of the first market partners of Savory’s Land to Market, a regenerative sourcing solution for livestock-derived meat, dairy, wool and leather. As an early adopter of Savory’s Land to Market program, Zuke’s will lead the way in sourcing food and fiber products from farms and ranches whose regenerative management practices are verified to improve ecological outcomes. The other founding partners are EPIC Provisions, UNION and Applegate.
Land to Market is a grassroots and collaborative sourcing program that prioritizes regenerative agriculture as a solution to critical environmental issues such as climate change, water retention, and food security.
“Being a founding partner of Savory Institute’s Land to Market program provides us a unique opportunity to help improve the quality of our ingredients, as well as renew the earth’s land and soil where our natural resources come from,” Zuke’s Director of Operations David Rizzo said. “We’re in an industry that consumes a large volume of the global ingredient supply and extractive management practices have become the norm. We want to protect and improve our natural resources both for us and for our pets. The Zuke’s team pioneered the natural pet treat segment, and we’re a brand that’s always been purposeful and truthful to our passions. We’re proud today to be leading the charge to educate our global supply chain about how producing ingredients can be done holistically while actually improving their quality and simultaneously regenerating our lands and soils.”
According to Rizzo, Zuke’s believes “that nature knows best what our dogs need to be healthy,” This has been a driving concept for the company since it was founded in 1995. Zuke’s places “high value in making sustainable and holistic choices while choosing the highest quality ingredients to put in [its] products,” Rizzo said, so being a founding partner of Land to Market makes sense.
“Together with this intrepid group of early brand partners, we’re creating a new approach to sourcing with land regeneration at its core,” said Victoria Keziah, Land to Market’s managing director. “Land to Market sets a new standard for traceability. It links ‘brand’ and ‘land’ in a way that is direct and undeniable, based upon proven regenerative outcomes at the ground level.”
A key component of the program is the Ecological Outcome Verification (EOV). Developed in collaboration with leading scientists and researchers around the world, EOV is an empirical and scalable soil and landscape assessment methodology that tracks outcomes in biodiversity, soil, and ecosystem function, such as water infiltration and carbon sequestration. Those farms and ranches demonstrating positively trending outcomes receive the Ecological Outcome Verification, which is renewed annually. Verified farms and ranches will be entered into a regenerative supplier roster from which participating brands and retailers can access livestock-derived supply.
The EOV protocol is currently being prototyped in 14 Savory Hub regions around the world with eventual rollout on thousands of farms and ranches globally.
The EOV protocol was created by an interdisciplinary group of scientists, agronomists, and ecologists, including OVIS 21 in Argentina and Michigan State University. EOV offers farmers and ranchers an accessible and affordable learning mechanism that respects their local context and operating conditions, while providing training and support from experts at in-country Savory Hubs.
“Land to Market is a game-changer that will lead the regenerative movement towards transparency, authenticity, accountability and a deeper understanding of what regenerative agriculture truly means,” Savory Institute co-founder and CEO Daniela Ibarra-Howell said. “The Ecological Outcome Verification will inform and guide farmers to continuously improve conditions on the land such as water retention, soil health, carbon sequestration, and wildlife habitats, and then be duly differentiated and recognized for it in the marketplace.”
Partnering brands are expected to start rolling out select EOV products at the retail level by 2019. Savory’s goal is to positively impact 1 billion hectares (2.47B acres) of grasslands through Holistic Management by 2025. Producers, brands and manufacturers can contact Chris Kerson at CKerston@savory.global for details.