14 Jun 2023
Since its humble beginnings, bread has been rooted in sustainability and plant-based goodness, sustaining generations of human life. With younger generations conscientiously pondering the impact of their food choices, it becomes increasingly important to ensure that bread production embraces environmental responsibility and promotes sustainability even more. In this article, we embark on a journey to uncover the transformative power of regenerative agriculture practices, discovering how bread can elevate its sustainability to new heights.
Regenerative agriculture is a farming approach that focuses on building soil health to increase resilience agricultural systems. Farmers who practice regenerative agriculture use techniques like crop rotation, reduced tillage, and cover cropping to increase the amount of organic matter in the soil, which helps to retain moisture and nutrients. Guillaume, a farmer and agronomist Puratos is partnering up with explains: “Soil is part of the bank of the farmers that is being eroded. The challenge of young generation farmers is to restore the level of organic matter in the soil to sustain production and profitability of the farms and to do so we need to adapt technical solutions on the farms to bring back that organic matter that soil life needs as a food”. This, in turn, can improve the health of the cereals grown in that soil, capture carbon from the atmosphere and increase biodiversity.
At Puratos, we have made our first investment in healthier soil practices for a step toward a greener future for bread. This initial investment serves as a bridge between Puratos and visionary farmers, allowing us to gain firsthand knowledge and insight into the reality of sustainable farming practices. It marks a stepping stone for Puratos and our customers to better understand the role we can play together in supporting the transition to regenerative farming. The selected rye and wheat, cultivated through regenerative methods, will be used in the production of Puratos’s Sapore sourdough range. In addition, we launched another pilot focusing on sugar beet for cake mix.
Recently, we have signed the Mission Soil Manifesto of the EU, joining forces with other like-minded organizations to champion soil health, conserve natural resources, and foster a resilient and sustainable food system. These initiatives embody our drive to move the planet forward while delivering exceptional bakery ingredients to our customers.
Embracing regenerative agriculture comes with its share of challenges, including supply chain complexity, education, and scalability. Helene Flamand, Sustainability Manager Sourdough & Grains at Puratos explains:
Implementing regenerative agriculture requires collaboration and coordination across the entire supply chain. From farmers to ingredient suppliers, integrating multiple stakeholders can be complex. At Puratos, we recognize the need for robust partnerships and streamlined communication to ensure a smooth transition to regenerative practices
Helene Flamand - Sustainability Manager Sourdough & Grains
Scaling up regenerative agricultural practices presents its own set of challenges. It requires additional resources, such as knowledge, training, and financial investments. As we embark on this journey, Puratos is actively exploring ways to support farmers in adopting regenerative practices and facilitating the transition to a sustainable and regenerative supply chain.
As we embrace the challenges and opportunities of regenerative agriculture, Puratos remains steadfast in the commitment of a sustainable and regenerative bakery industry. Helene Flamand: “Translating the benefits of regenerative agriculture from the farm to a bread environmental footprint is key to support our customers to develop the right products and to increase consumer awareness.” Raw materials can be responsible of up to 79% of a fresh bread environmental footprint made with ingredients from conventional agriculture. GF Impact, the new structure resulting from this strategic alliance, of which Glimpact and Sparkalis will create a real dynamic eco-design ecosystem that will allow bakers to measure and understand their overall environmental footprint, taking into account the 16 impact categories covered by the LCA-PEF method (including carbon footprint and also others factors such as the use of water resources, agricultural land, but also ecotoxicity or the eutrophication of oceans and rivers), and above all to identify the best levers for action steps to reduce it, regenerative agriculture being an important one.
By navigating the complexities of the supply chain, raising awareness, and collaborating with partners and our customers, we can make a tangible difference for the generations to come.
Do you want to know more about Puratos’s bakery ingredient range? Or are you seeking recipe inspiration for your next bread launch? Our experts are happy to help you with whatever challenge you may have.