Ancient Nutrition commits to becoming carbon negative

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

Ancient Nutrition is pursuing holistic grazing practices as well as a major food-bearing tree, vine and shrub planting project on its showcase farm in Tennessee.  Ancient Nutrition photo
Ancient Nutrition is pursuing holistic grazing practices as well as a major food-bearing tree, vine and shrub planting project on its showcase farm in Tennessee. Ancient Nutrition photo

Related tags regenerative agriculture Herbal dietary supplements Protein

Superfoods supplement purveyor Ancient Nutrition has launched a plan to make the brand carbon negative by 2024 by planting a million trees and pursuing other regenerative practices on land the company owns in Missouri and Tennessee.

Jordan Rubin, co founder and CEO of the brand, said the plan is being carried out at a showpiece 110-acre property in Tennessee Rubin and co-founder Dr Josh Axe have christened The Center for Regenerative Agriculture & Sustainability. Also involved is the company’s older 4,000-acre property in Missouri, dubbed the Beyond Organic Ranch and Heal The Planet Farm, where some of the brand’s ingredients are grown.

Founded more than six years ago, Ancient Nutrition rests on several pillars, Rubin said.  Those include the company’s foundational bone broth protein products. The company also features other protein products, including a complete line of collagen formulas. Probiotics, multivitamins, hemp/CBD products, a new line of herbal and mushroom offerings as well as essential oils round out the product list.

Time to give back

The brand has been on a strong growth curve in recent years, and reportedly has more than $100 million in annual sales.  With that success, Rubin, who also founded the well known brand Garden of Life, said it’s time to give back to the planet from which he takes his formulation wisdom.

“I have been in this industry for 24 years now.  I’ve talked a lot about the key elements of transforming our diet and our world.  I am now seeing even large companies throw out dates when they are going to be carbon neutral,” ​Rubin said.

“We do believe we are at a tipping point where consumers are going to want to put their money behind brands with this kind of commitment,” ​he added.

Rubin and Axe have dubbed their plan the R.A.N.C.H. Project, which stands for Regenerative Agriculture, Nutrition & Climate Health. The partners hope to accomplish the following by 2024:

  • Be carbon negative through regenerative agriculture initiatives and supporting offsets
  • Plant one million food-bearing trees, bushes, vines and shrubs
  • Reduce company produced plastic and waste by 25% while transitioning to more sustainable packaging & marketing material solutions
  • Launch a major seed saving initiative to future-proof regenerative farming by collecting and banking seeds from every harvest from the  company’s farm as well as collecting food waste and seeds from local organizations diverting them from the landfill
  • Support world-changing non-profit organization Mully Children’s Family, which provides housing and education for disadvantaged children in Kenya while also planting trees to fight climate change.

For profit enterprise harnessed to drive change

In addition to donating to the nonprofit, Rubin said a key part of the plan was for the company to transform its own ground using its own employees.  Rubin said he wanted everyone working at the company to feel as if they were taking part in making the change.

“Donating is important, but it’s easy. I wanted every employee to feel as if they are part of something greater than themselves.  We planted 30,000 trees on Wednesday and Thursday last week.  I want them to feel as if they are part of an amazing goal,”​ Rubin said.

Rubin said the plan to show how standard worked over farmland in the US can be transformed with a commitment to regenerative agricultural and animal husbandry practices.  

“I believe that the key to improving the health of the environment and the soil involves a polyculture style of agriculture.  We pursue a holistic grazing program including multiple species of ruminants like sheep, cows and water buffalo, and we use ducks for pest control,” ​he said.

In addition to the agricultural plans the brand is rethinking how it packages it products, Rubin said.  The company says it is partnering with the Rodale Institute, Cornell University and the Climate Collaborative on the project.

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