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Home/Blog/Ancient Nutrition’s 2023 Impact Report

Ancient Nutrition’s 2023 Impact Report

By Kristie Cerutti

April 12, 2024

Ancient Nutrition impact report

As we release our 2023 impact report, we at Ancient Nutrition have a clear mission: Harness history’s most powerful superfoods to help fill the gaps in the modern diet.

But who we are goes beyond supplements. We embrace our responsibility to the planet we all share, which is why we are dedicated to the R.A.N.C.H. Project — our commitment to Regenerative Agriculture, Nutrition and Climate Health.

Fortunately, the world's interest in the potential of regenerative agriculture to improve our nutrition and overall world is only growing stronger.

After all, our industry is at a crossroads. We cannot continue to operate business as usual. Climate impacts, biodiversity loss, soil degradation and greenhouse gas emissions all threaten the efficacy of products and the health of the planet and its denizens (people and all living creatures).

Sustainability is not enough. We must embrace regenerative practices to help farmers develop more resilient systems, restoring the land and bringing social and environmental benefits along with it.

At Ancient Nutrition, we understand the concerns around "greenwashing" and the potential to use regenerative practices to prop up other less than stellar parts of business. It’s why we take a holistic approach to our business and seek to infuse regenerative ideals into every aspect of our company.

We acknowledge that what many are calling a new way forward is simply a return to Indigenous and Native wisdom that seeks to work with the land rather than extracting from it.

Our hope is that our report is an example for those that want to blaze a new, ancient path forward. Making this investment now will benefit the soil, animals, plants and people, not just on our land but everyone who comes in contact with any of our products. We hope you join us in the following goals.

Ancient Nutrition’s Goals for Planet and People:

  • The efficacy of our products is directly tied to the health of the soil.

  • Regenerative agriculture is not a luxury, but a necessity.

  • We employ a holistic approach to go beyond sustainability company-wide.

What Is Regenerative Agriculture?

Regenerative agriculture is based on centuries-old farming practices. The aim is to enrich the soil and help stall or reverse climate change. This is done by rebuilding soil organic matter and restoring soil biodiversity, something that is significantly lacking in conventional agriculture. 

In other words, we seek to holistically partner with nature to protect soil and biodiversity. The way forward is regenerative agriculture.

Just like our gut microbiome needs a balance of different microbes to function properly, so does soil. The issue is that modern farming practices have decimated microorganisms that are critical for maintaining soil health and nutrient levels in the foods we grow and eat. 

Specific regenerative agriculture principles that marry well with Ancient Nutrition’s include:

  • Minimizing soil disruption by using low-till or no-till farming

  • Covering soil with living plants

  • Not allowing any synthetic chemicals

  • Using mixed species holistic grazing

  • Building soil microbiome — biodiversity in soil and plant species

  • Creating a Regenerative Food Forest of superfood-bearing perennial trees, bushes, vines and shrubs. We are well on our way to planting 1 million trees by the end of 2024. And we plan to meet our goal of 10 million trees planted by 2030.

In two short years on our own properties we have seen regeneration in action on our Ancient Nutrition farms:

  • 50 percent increase in microbial diversity

  • 34 percent increase in biological soil coverage

  • 10 percent in organic matter

How to Join Us … by First Believing

Want to help save the world from the climate crisis? You first need to believe that it can be done. Believe that everybody, planet-wide, should get the nutrients we need in order to grow, thrive and become our best selves.

Believe that nature informs science. And that the way forward is firmly rooted in the past.

After all, we believe in results. Clinical and noticeable results from supplements like Multi Collagen Protein that touts its clinical-support benefits for your skin, joints and gut.

Lastly, it's got to be personal, as believing in the little things can go a long way. A scoop. A capsule. A seed. The little things that add up and make all the difference in the world.

If we are going to save the world, it’s important to believe in practicing what you preach. Which is why at Ancient Nutrition, we believe in giving back to the soil, not just taking from it. We believe in reducing carbon in the atmosphere, improving soil health and protecting biodiversity. And we believe if you take care of something, it will take care of you in return.

Every time you use an Ancient Nutrition product, you are part of our mission to plant 10 million superfood-bearing plants over the next 10 years. This Million Member Regenerative Food Forest helps transform our health and revitalize our planet.

Together, step by step, we plan to help save the world with superfoods. With every purchase of an Ancient Nutrition product, you become part of our mission to transform the health of the planet.

Solutions for Today’s Environmental Problems

Here are four specific examples of real-world environmental problems that we at Ancient Nutrition are tackling head-on.

1. Problem: Conventional Agriculture's Vicious Cycle

If we sustain our current level of farming, we only have 60 years of farmable land left. Monocultures and livestock in confinement lead to lack of biodiversity. Increased use of pesticides reduces insects, pollinators and important predators that control harmful pests naturally. Degraded soil leads to lower nutrient cycling and the decline of mycorrhizal fungi.

Solution:

Practicing regenerative farming. Everything we do needs to leave the world better than the way we found it. Ancient Nutrition is focused on regenerative agriculture to help rebuild topsoil and more quickly than ever before.

While natural processes can take 500 years to form one inch of topsoil, we plan to do that in one year through rotational grazing, mimicking nature's grazing pattern.

In addition, we use compost, aka food scraps, to help build the soil. We also deploy crops that cover the ground with living plants.

In regard to our soil, we have the goal of 10 inches of topsoil along with 10 percent soil organic matter by 2030.

2. Problem: Food Waste

Did you know that food waste accounts for 24 percent of all landfilled material? And that about 7 percent of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions come from food waste?

Solution:

We collect the food scraps from our partners and deposit them on our Certified Organic, Regenerative farms, literally turning trash into treasure. These food scraps feed our animals and help build topsoil.

By 2024, we are on target to collect 2 million pounds of food scraps.

We’ve also established a living seed bank. Viable seeds from food waste are planted on our farms to increase biodiversity.

3. Problem: Plastic

Billions of plastic bottles are used every year in the supplement industry. A mind-boggling 70 percent of supplement bottles end up in landfills, oceans, rivers, streams and parks.

It can take over 450 years for the bottles to breakdown naturally. Meanwhile, toxins and microplastics are being consumed by animals and unfortunately make their way into the food chain.

Surprisingly, there’s been a lack of alternatives and no cost-effective alternatives to traditional plastic. (See our article about how to use less plastic in your daily life.)

Solution:

We will be transitioned over to 100 percent biodegradeable, compostable or recyclable packaging by the end of 2024.

We are partnering with PlasticBank to stop ocean plastic and improve collector lives in vulnerable coastal communities. In 2022, Ancient Nutrition prevented the equivalent of nearly 200,000 pounds of plastic from entering the ocean in collaboration with Plastic Bank.

Ancient Nutrition also is a core brand helping to lead the OSC’s "One Step Closer To Zero Waste Packaging" campaign.

4. Problem: Carbon Emissions

According to the Rodale Institute, if we converted all global croplands and pastures to regenerative organic agriculture, we could sequester more than 100 percent of current annual CO2 emissions. Amazing, huh?

The carbon probably over 10,000 years ago, with the dawn of agriculture when people began to extract and release increasing amounts of carbon. Tillage and deforestation sped up this problem, which spiraled further out of control when the human race became depending on fossil fuels to power our lives.

Solution:

Now it's up to all of us to take that excess carbon from the atmosphere and put it back underground.

In an effort to reduce carbon emissions, we at Ancient Nutrition worked on significant supply chain improvements. We consolidated our warehouses to reduce our storage footprint and lower our transportation emissions.

In addition to our other regenerative programs and topsoil creation, we have the goal of being carbon negative (that's beyond "carbon neutral") by the end of 2024.

Ancient Nutrition Initiatives

Here are some of our key initiatives that are well under way …

1. Healthy Soil Matters

It is not just what we eat, but how it was grown that determines our level of health. Conventional farming is harming both the planet and its people. Growing history's most powerful superfoods requires healthy soil.

A grazing plan is a plan for the number of animals that will be on a certain piece of land and for how long. Our grazing plan was developed with soil regeneration in mind. We want maximal pressure with extended rest; think of it like working a muscle.

Our goal is to see how quickly we can regenerate the soil with a combination of regenerative farming practices. We know that some of these practices have been done, but to our knowledge no one is doing all of them at once.

“To our knowledge, this is the first comprehensive evaluation of multiple long- term farm/ranch management in the southeastern U.S.” — Said A. Hamido, PhD, Soil Scientist, Rodale Institute

We're already seeing results. We went from 65 percent soil cover one year ago to nearly 90 percent soil cover by the end of 2023.

2. Using Our Regenerative Agriculture Farms for Our Products and the Planet

Our R.A.N.C.H. Project stands for our three commitment pillars: Regenerative Agriculture, Nutrition and Climate Health. It’s a first-of-its-kind solution and supports our mission at Ancient Nutrition to transform the health of every individual on the planet with history’s most powerful superfoods.

Our farms include the 133-acre Center for Regenerative Agriculture in Summertown, TN and the 4,000-acre Beyond Organic Ranch & Heal the Planet Farm in Koshkonong, MO. In the Spring of 2022, our farms officially became Regenerative Organic Certified®.

In the Spring of 2023, we were proud to introduce the first-ever Regenerative Organic Certified® products. ROC™ represents the highest standards in history for soil health, animal welfare and social fairness. It goes beyond just regenerative practices, and beyond just certified organic. To be eligible for Regenerative Organic Certified®, farms must first be USDA certified organic or an international equivalent.

3. Key Certifications and Verifications

We do not seek certifications for certification's sake. Every certification is an advancement of a cause we care deeply about. These include the following:

  • Regenerative Organic Certified® Regenerative Organic Certified® (ROC™) by the Regenerative Organic Alliance (ROA) is a holistic agriculture certification that ensures farms and products meet the highest standards in soil health, animal welfare, and social fairness. Ancient Nutrition directs the strategy and operations on the two ROC™ farms owned by our founders. Both of these farms are the first in their states (TN & MO) to be Regenerative Organic Certified®.

  • Certified B Corporation — Ancient Nutrition became a Certified B Corporation in January 2023. B Corp Certification means that a company has been verified as meeting B Lab’s high standards for social and environmental impact, that it has made a legal commitment to stakeholder governance, and that it is demonstrating accountability and transparency by disclosing this record of performance in a public B Corp profile. We’re now among over 6,300 Certified B Corporations in over 80 countries, across 150 industries leading a global movement for an inclusive, equitable and regenerative economy. All of us, together, using business as a force for good.

  • Certified Carbon Neutral Company — Ancient Nutrition is a certified CarbonNeutral® company. This means we have calculated and offset all emissions associated with the operations of our business in accordance with the CarbonNeutral Protocol, the leading global standard for carbon neutral programs. We have taken the additional step to certify all of our products as CarbonNeutral; this will apply to all new products going forward as well.

4. Strategic Partnerships

We partner strategically with other world-changing organizations to help grow the regenerative movement, reverse climate change, stop ocean plastic, grow sustainability standards, help neglected children and more.

  • Rodale Institute — Rodale Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to growing the regenerative organic movement through rigorous research, farmer training, and consumer education. Widely recognized as a founder of the modern organic movement in the U.S., Rodale Institute is helping validate our efforts to heal the planet and save the world with superfoods. Starting in January 2022, Ancient Nutrition began the first stage of a 14-year project to revolutionize environmental regeneration and sustainable food production via water conservation, carbon cycling and soil microbiome diversity and viability.

  • SnapLands — SnapLands LLC is a global leader in regenerating lands with profitable and verifiable outcomes. Founded in 2017 on a Montana ranch, today their certified land services and programs are used by operations internationally. By partnering with Snaplands, we are able to scientifically and accurately monitor key performance indicators such as, food production, carbon sequestration, ecosystem services, science-based market differentiation, or verifiable sustainable impacts.

  • Savory Network — Ecological Outcome Verification™ (EOV™) is a protocol for monitoring land health, giving a holistic look at soil health, biodiversity and ecosystem function. EOV will help us to quantify the difference our regenerative efforts are making on the land.

  • Climate Collaborative — Manufacturers, retailers, distributors, brokers, suppliers, and other concerned businesses from the natural foods industry working collaboratively to take bold action to reverse climate change. Ancient Nutrition has made commitments in relation to Agriculture, Food Waste and Packaging.

  • Plastic Bank — Plastic Bank empowers Ocean Stewards to stop ocean plastic. Our ethical collection communities exchange plastic for life-improving benefits. Collected material is processed into Social Plastic feedstock for reuse in products and packaging.

  • One Step Closer™ (OSC) — The OSC community is comprised of leaders in the natural products industry who maintain the highest sustainability standards in their businesses and personal lives. Working towards a society that is regenerative for generations to come.

  • One Step Closer to Zero Waste Packaging — Ancient Nutrition is a core brand helping to lead this campaign, which seeks to create a platform for action and generate awareness around the reduction and/or elimination of single use plastics in our products, packaging, and personal lives.

  • Packaging Collaborative — OSC formed the Packaging Collaborative to remove petroleum-based plastics from landfills, oceans and our planet by securing compostable and renewable flexible film structures with appropriate barrier qualities.

  • Regenerate America — Regenerate America™ is an unprecedented coalition of farmers, businesses, nonprofits, and individuals from every corner of our country and all political stripes. Through the widespread adoption of regenerative agriculture, we can bring prosperity to rural communities for this generation and generations to come, while improving food and water security and strengthening our climate resilience. This is the bipartisan issue of our time.

  • Nutrient Density Alliance — Soil health equals nutrition. We’re bringing the consumer and business case to the conversation — top-line and bottom-line — so that businesses go further in their thinking and integrate Nutrient Density into their Regenerative Agriculture programs and consumer purchase propositions.

  • Mully Children's Family — Mully Children’s Family (MCF) initiatives encompass Rescue, Rehabilitation, Reintegration and Prevention to safeguard the rights, safety, well-being, dignity and development of children. Based in Kenya, they provide holistic care and protection to vulnerable children who include orphans, children from the street, child mothers, neglected, abused and abandoned children among others. MCF is currently supporting over 6,200 children and youth in their Child Protection and Development Centres and thousands more through community outreach programs.

If you haven't already, please join us on this exciting planet-changing, life-transforming journey.

Kristie Cerutti is the Vice President of Impact for Ancient Nutrition. She is a 21-year marketing veteran in the Nutritional Supplement Industry/CPG space, and a driving force behind Ancient Nutrition’s R.A.N.C.H. (Regenerative Agriculture, Nutrition, Climate Health) Project. Not content with mere sustainability, her passion is to see regeneration infused into every area of the company, and beyond. She is also a graduate of Harvard Business School Sustainable Business Strategies, The Savory Institute’s Holistic Management course, Certified Zero Waste True Advisor, Soil Health Advocate, permaculturist, as well as sits on several committees and taskforces including One Step Closer to Zero Waste, Packaging Coalition, ROA Brand & Marketing Task force and Regenerate America’s Business Coalition.

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