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The 12 Principles of Regenerative Agriculture


Time to read 2 min

Let's face it- there are so many different ways of describing what we call 'Regen Ag', that it's easy to get a bit hung up on definitions and lose sight of what we are trying to achieve. We're going to unpack our core 12 principles that we believe are essential to defining what "REGENERATIVE" means to us, so come along with us on this learning journey!

‘Regenerative agriculture is an ecological approach to farming that allows landscapes to renew themselves.’

Birdseye photograph of a person wearing a pair of boots standing in tall, diverse crops and grass from a regenerative farm


Over the past 5 years that Dirty Clean Food has evolved and grown, our definition of, and relationship with, Regen Ag has evolved too- much like the way mycelium moves through the soil to connect the roots of all living things. What began as a vision to produce healthy food, became a passion and commitment to become the conduit that connects regenerative farmers and conscious consumers.   

A big question we are faced with on our journey is "what is regenerative agriculture?!", and how does this measure to certified practices such as Certified Organic. We have debated ourselves whether we should be focusing on a methodology which is practice based, or outcomes based.  

Where we have currently landed is a combination of both – ensuring that our farmers are meeting a list of best-practise practices for regenerative agriculture, via our Regenerative Farm Plan, and moving towards an outcomes-based methodology where these practises are backed up by measurable outcomes.  

12 Principles Of Regenerative Farming

For this series, we will focus on the 12 Principles of Regenerative Agriculture via our Regenerative Farm Plan. You can look forward to an update on some of our projects that delve deeper into the real, measurable results that our farms were able to achieve. 

12 Principles that align to our 4 Pillars of Regen: Soil health, biodiversity, water and nutrient cycles, and committing to a learning journey. 

We believe that these encompass the main organic, biodynamic and regenerative standards worldwide, and found that they all had either practises or principles that overlap.  

Minimise Soil Disturbance

Cover the Soil

Living Roots

Feed the Soil

Increase Diversity


Integrate Livestock

Enhance Biodiversity

Nature the Water Cycle

Social & Community

Learning Journey

Understand the Context

List of 12 Regenerative Principles

Our Impact Team works closely with our Farmers on all 12 principles as part of the Dirty Clean Food Regenerative Farm Plan, and there is so much we are excited to share on each one with you. You can look forward to an update on some of our projects that delve deeper into the real, measurable results that our farms were able to achieve. 

DIRTY CLEAN FOOD Regenerative Farm Plan

These 12 principles can describe 40 practises we believe are crucial to regenerative farming. Together, they are the basis for our Regenerative Farm Plan template. We then work with our farmers to record what they are currently doing on farm under each of these practises, and what they plan to do in the next 12 months. This way we are documenting improvement year on year, and showing how our farmers are building diversity and resilience into their farming systems. We also use this information to show our customers what are farmers are doing - how they are growing their crops or tending their livestock. We have found that transparency and openness in the form of storytelling has been a wonderfully inclusive way to connect our regenerative farmers with you – our conscious consumers.  


Our Part 2, covering our first principle of regenerative agriculture, 'minimise soil disturbance' has just been published! Check it out here.

Revist Regen Graphic
Regenerative Agriculture Definition
Charles Massey quote
Agriculture relationships
DCF 12 Principles Regenerative Agriculture
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