What is Regenerative Agriculture, and How Can It Help Filipino Farmers?

Unilever Philippines is taking bold steps to ensure that food production remains sustainable for all.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, Filipino farmworkers were paid an average daily wage of P331.10 in 2019. That’s hardly fair remuneration for the work they do, and nowhere near enough to feed families sustainably. Many times, after toiling under the sun each day to provide our most basic needs, farmers are forced to sell the fruits of their labor for so low a price, one might wonder if the payoff is ultimately worth the effort.

This is part of the ugly side of massive-scale food production—and it’s not just farmers who are at the short end of the stick. The way we farm and harvest to keep a huge population fed takes such a huge toll on the environment, too, and so certain types of food production might no longer be sustainable in a few decades.

To keep up with the demand, farmers can no longer give the soil enough time to recoup essential nutrients after each harvest. Worse: Farming and breeding livestock use up too much land and water resources, and produce up to 30 percent of the globe’s greenhouse gas emissions. This will make it difficult to realize a future in which every family eats three meals a day.

There’s a way to reverse this, and it’s called Regenerative Agriculture.

Regenerative agriculture uses holistic farming practices that aim to promote soil health and reverse climate change.

Understanding its role as a giant consumer goods company, Unilever Philippines is adopting the following regenerative agriculture principles to make food sustainable for every Filipino:

  • Have positive impacts from agricultural practices on soil health, water and air quality, carbon capture, and biodiversity
  • Enable local communities to protect and improve their environment and wellbeing
  • Produce crops with sufficient yield and nutritional quality to meet existing and future needs, while keeping resource inputs as low as possible
  • Optimize the use of renewable resources while minimizing the use of non-renewable resources

At the heart of these set of principles is the understanding that food production is ultimately sustainable only by working hand-in-hand with local farmers. Unilever Philippines maintains that farmers require a fair trade for their labor and sufficient support in preserving nature.

Through programs that champion these principles, Unilever Philippines aims to empower their partner local farmers with regenerative farming practices that can help replenish their land, make it more resilient, and boost their yields.

What does regenerative agriculture mean for your favorite food brands?

Working with its large food and refreshment portfolio, Unilever Philippines has made great strides to source key crops for its products locally and sustainably. These crops include gherkins, taro, mango, coconut, and tamarind—a key ingredient for Knorr food products.

Knorr’s partner landmark farms are among those who have fully embraced Unilever’s principles of regenerative agriculture. This partnership helps benefit over 800 tamarind farmers and their families.

Acknowledging that sustainable food production is not just an agriculture issue, Unilever Philippines also works with Pilipinas Kontra Gutom (PKG) to help fight involuntary hunger in the Philippines. In collaboration with the academe, NGOs, the government, and the private sector, the company aims to champion the campaign against malnutrition. They do this by using sustainable solutions to bring nutritious food to hunger-stricken communities during calamities, this pandemic being one of them.

To know more, follow Unilever Philippines on Facebook.

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This article was created by Summit Storylabs in partnership with UNILEVER PHILIPPINES.