Regenerative Agriculture

Regenerative Agriculture

Sustainable Farming From the Ground Up

Food production is estimated to be responsible for one-quarter1 to one-third2 of the world’s green house gas (GHG) production. Just over 50% of these gases are attributed to crop production and land use for human and livestock consumption1.

Regenerative agriculture or ‘regen ag’ is a system of farm practices which actively regenerates and revitalizes the soil. Healthier soil results in not only higher crop yields, but also increased green-house gas sequestration. Avena partners with farmers, researchers, civil societies and customers to identify and promote regen ag farming practices.

These practices aim to:

  • minimize soil disturbance,
  • maximize soil coverage, and
  • increase crop diversity.

Maintaining living roots in the soil, for as much of the year as is possible, also supports the soil microbiome and encourages plant and animal biodiversity.

regenerative farm field and tractor

Lynnell Pomedli, Seed Source.

Regen Ag Practices Include:

  1. Multiyear crop rotations
  2. Conservation tillage
  3. Identifying nutrient deficiencies with soil testing
  4. Precision ag to manage seeding rates and other inputs
  5. No irrigation
  6. Intercropping and cover cropping
  7. Integration of livestock into rotations
  8. Land use management to encourage biodiversity
sustainable commodities for soil regeneration

Chickpea and flax seed intercrop, Rosengren Farms, 2023.

Crop Rotations

Regenerative Farm Partnerships

Pulses, as a part of a crop rotation, are a good example of how a crop can be naturally regenerative to the soil. They pull nitrogen from the air and deposit or fix it into root nodes which are left in the soil for the next year’s crop. If intercropped in the same year, pulses share nutrients with other crops via the root system microbiome.

Pulses develop early, providing dense cover that crowds out weeds, reducing the need for herbicides. They also nourish soil microbes, helping to create a more diverse microbiome that better fights disease-causing bacteria and fungi.

Pulses do not require irrigation. They also have shorter roots and extract water from a shallow depth, leaving moisture for future crops, like oats, with deeper roots.

Learn more about pulses and oats as inherently sustainable crops

Avena pea field for sustainable agriculture

Yellow pea blossom in pea field.

Intercropping Peas and Oats since the 1930’s

The first crop planted by B.C. Pea Grower’s Limited (later Best Cooking Pulses) in the 1930’s was peas intercropped with oats. The goal was to keep pea vines up and off the ground.

The story comes full circle when, in 2022, Avena (merged with Best Cooking Pulses) partnered with growers and commercial customers to support and champion the intercropping of oat and peas.

regenerative farming of peas 1942

Staff of B.C. Pea Growers Limited, Armstrong, BC, 1942.

Identifying & Promoting Regenerative Ag Farming Practices

Avena partners with farmers, researchers, civil societies and customers to establish & execute initiatives



  • Avena and commercial partners supported experimental plots that trialed intercropping, cover cropping and new varieties of pulses and oats. These were showcased during the annual Customer and Farmer Appreciation Day (CAFAD). This event was attended by farmers, civil societies, researchers, and food and beverage manufacturing companies who are looking to make a positive impact using regenerative farming practices.
  • Avena set up the Avena Sustainability Advisory Panel (ASAP) to bring together members of the value chain to discuss and direct sustainability and regenerative ag initiatives at Avena.


  • Results of ‘Living Lab’ field crop trials demonstrating intercropping and cover cropping, supported by Bob’s Red Mill and HIPPEAS Snacks, were shared at CAFAD.


  • Avena establishes Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) baseline metrics for scope 1 and 2 metrics concurrently with Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for all ingredients.
  • Avena initiates four year regen ag project ‘Harnessing the Power of Regan Ag Partnerships’ with ‘Collective Impact Ag’ and growers.
regenerative agriculture training event

Lana Shaw field presentation, CAFAD 2023.

Harnessing the Power of Regen Ag Partnerships


Avena’s ‘Harnessing the power of regen ag partnerships’ provides CPG companies with the information and metrics to meet consumer preferences for planet-friendly foods and beverages.

Working alongside farmers and ‘Collective Impact Ag’*, food and beverage companies can curate and personalize sustainability projects across the value chain.

Your project could include:

  • supporting farms to trial regen ag practices
  • marketing and social media resources
  • linking your product to a farm or farmer
  • Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
  • carbon insets

* ‘Collective Impact Ag‘ provides farmers with guidance around sustainability and regen ag projects for the land. The work incorporates:

  • greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprint
  • emerging trends in biodiversity
  • water footprint and landscape
  • regenerative agriculture
  • community development and awareness
regenerative agriculture diagram

How can we support your sustainability goals?



Footnote citations:
  1. Poore J, Nemecek T (2018). Reducing food’s environmental impacts through producers and consumers. Science, 360(6392), 987-992.
  2. Cripaa M, Solazzo E, Guizzardi D, Montforti-Ferrario F, Tubiello F N, Leip AJNF (2021) Food systems are responsible for a third of global anthropogenic GHG emissions. Nature Foods 2(3), 198-209.