Developed by The Savory Institute with input from consumer brands including EPIC Provisions, the Land to Market program is the industry’s first verified regenerative sourcing solution for the food and fiber industries. To qualify for the seal, a product must pass 23 science- based ecological monitoring data points and prove that its production process creates a net positive return to the planet.
“When we launched, we clearly recognized that we had to create a product that had to have high animal welfare standards,” EPIC Provisions co-founder Taylor Collins told FoodNavigator-USA.
“It didn’t take us very long to realize that you couldn’t have healthy thriving animals without healthy thriving soil.”
EPIC Provisions has worked alongside the Savory Institute since the organization was founded, when the food brand was connected with third party suppliers that follow regenerative agricultures practices such as White Oak Pastures (the supplier for its beef bites).
“We kind of grew up together,” Collins said.
“We’ve been working with them for the last four years to develop this program that’s collecting data from ranchers and creating a new supply chain that was segregated – then offering that supply chain to consumer packaged goods companies with the science and all the data to support it.”
EPIC was the first founding brand partner and has donated more than $500,000 to support the Savory Institute’s initiatives.
“It’s really setting a high new standard because a lot of consumer packaged goods companies are starting to talk about regenerative agriculture but we actually have the objective, outcome-based data to support that the product of ours is creating positive change,” Collins added.
Collins shared that EPIC Provisions will be expanding the seal to other products including bison and lamb next.
Inspiring big food
Since being acquired by General Mills in 2016, EPIC Provisions has been able to tap into the big food company’s R&D and sales capabilities, which has helped the company fine-tune its product offerings and expand its distribution.
EPIC Provisions animal cooking fats line (duck, bison tallow, beef tallow, and pork) which recently relaunched onto store shelves with a new formulation, had a highly variable product process that it needed to streamline.Other products in EPIC’s line include bites, snack strips, pork rinds, bone broth, and egg white performance bars.
“General Mills helped us get really scientific about that [the formulation process] and really control those variables to have a much better blending process,” Collins said. “It’s now easier for consumers to use and more spreadable.”
In turn, EPIC Provisions has helped General Mills operate with more mission-based goals in mind, according to Collins.
“One of the reasons that we sold to [General] Mills is that we had this opportunity to really create some positive change in a big multinational corporation,” he said.
“We’ve really changed the narrative at [General] Mills to where they’re now talking about regenerative agriculture and other brands are taking on other regenerative agriculture initiatives.”