Sourcing and transparency
Grounded has spent the last eight years helping farmers in southern Africa transition to more regenerative practices. We know firsthand that accessing fair markets is difficult for small producers.
Existing value chains serve the big-volume buyers first, prioritising scale and uniformity. In this system, crops from a number of growers are processed and combined to create a consistent product, losing their origin stories and differentiating properties along the way. The final product is no longer traceable, and this system provides little incentive to producers putting in the extra effort to use regenerative methods.
At the same time, buyers and brands struggle to access the traceable, regenerative ingredients they’re looking for.
We want to bridge this gap: producers invested in regenerative practices should be paid fairly for their goods, and buyers seeking regenerative ingredients should be able to access them at the volumes they need. Grounded Ingredients is a marketplace that serves both.
Regenerative agriculture is a way of farming that goes beyond organic and sustainable principles, aiming to reverse degradation and kickstart restorative ecological processes. In this model, the farmer, the soil and biodiversity all grow richer.
Healthy soils are not only better for agriculture, they are essential for climate change mitigation, acting as sinks for the carbon in Earth's atmosphere. This higher carbon content allows for more water absorption, while life in the soil encourages more life, without the need for chemical interventions.
Getting to a fully functioning regenerative operation is a long process, achieved incrementally.
To ensure the ingredients we offer live up to our values, we developed guidelines to evaluate the environmental and social impacts of the independent producers we source from. Available below, these sourcing guidelines incorporate standards set by market-recognised certification schemes, such as Organic and Regenerative Organic, while drawing on the work of the Union for Ethical Biotrade, Commonland, and FairWild.
We are working to make regenerative agriculture and sustainable wild harvesting financially viable for small and mid-sized producers. Instead of prioritising volumes and homogeneity, we prioritise production practices and quality.
We share the origin and production methods behind each ingredient. By making our sourcing guidelines available and monitoring production practices over time, we hope to promote a more nuanced conversation about the commitment required for individual producers to adhere to regenerative practices.
Fair and transparent pricing
We reward producers for their hard work.
This means that on top of the farm gate price (the producer’s asking price), producers receive a kick-back if their ingredients perform well. During our pilot phase, we are experimenting with a model that allows us to cover the cost of sale to Grounded Ingredients as well as our overhead, while kicking back a share of the profit to producers.
Once we have determined the model that works best and established our running costs, we will provide more transparency about the costs of building and maintaining this platform and producer payments (so long as the latter does not conflict with the interests of the independent producers from whom we source).