As part of the continued rollout of Savory Institute’s Land to Market™ programme, the Savory Hub in South Africa has delivered its first bales of regenerative wool to the international wool market in Port Elizabeth.
These bales carry Savory’s Ecological Outcome Verification™ (EOV™) seal, which is the first to indicate that the land from which the wool is sourced, has been verified to be regenerating. Brands and businesses sourcing EOV wool at the Port Elizabeth Wool Exchange will be early supporters of a system of holistic management verified to achieve positive outcomes in soil fertility, biodiversity, and water retention.
A farmer-focused programme
Savory Institute’s Land to Market programme is a farmer-focused, collaborative sourcing programme that prioritises regenerative agriculture as a solution to critical environmental issues such as climate change, and water and food security. Ecological Outcome Verification (EOV) – or the “science inside” the Land to Market programme – is a soil and landscape assessment methodology that tracks outcomes in soil health, biodiversity, and ecosystem function on participating farms and ranches.
More than three years in the making, the EOV protocol was developed in collaboration with land managers, scientists, agronomists, and ecologists, including OVIS 21 in Argentina and at Michigan State University. The bales of EOV wool offered at the Port Elizabeth Wool Exchange were produced at Evenson Farms, which recently received its EOV credential.
“Delivering this wool to market is a full-circle moment for us,” says Rolf Pretorius, leader of the Savory Hub in South Africa, “it differentiates exemplary producers for their ecological outcomes, and it connects them directly to wool buyers who prioritise land health in their sourcing decisions.”
Increased stocking and production capacity
Located on the Eastern Cape, Evenson Farms is a fourth generation operation that has been in Neil Evens’ family since 1905. Over the past two decades, Neil and his wife Robyn Conroy have implemented holistic management on their land and livestock, which has allowed them to restore their land base while increasing their stocking and production capacity. Says Evens: “Over the last 20 years we have managed the land holistically and seen tremendous restoration of our veld [grasslands] and watershed. Receiving EOV and being able to carry that message to market is enormously gratifying and exciting.”
Savory’s Land to Market programme is in its early development but has ambitious – and global – goals. As the programme progresses, consumers will be able to choose wool, leather, dairy and meat products carrying the EOV seal and know they are investing in a regenerative claim that can be trusted to support farmers who are improving the environment. Verified farms and ranches will be listed in a global regenerative supplier roster from which participating brands, retailers, and consumers can access livestock-derived supply and products. – Press release