Dr. Seuss is famously quoted as saying ‘Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple’. The answer to meeting the global demand for food while combating climate change lies in agriculture itself. Recognizing the fact that powerful leverage in tackling climate change lies in the way food is being produced, A&W Canada, along with Cargill, has joined hands to create the Grazing Forward initiative.
One of the most critical challenges facing the world today is meeting the growing global demand for food whilst addressing climate change and the resulting loss of biodiversity. This has posed a serious question on the ability of humans to continue surviving as a species, as a global food crisis becomes an increasing possibility.
Grazing Forward has been designed with plans to introduce regenerative and agricultural practices that will not only result in healthier grasslands but also improve wetlands, create wildlife habitats and help protect species. The initiative has been launched in support of Alternative Land Use Services or ALUS and its New Acre Project.
Having monitored the Canadian cattle industry for almost 20 decades, ALUS has witnessed the crucial role ranchers and their cattle play in Canada’s ecosystem. Through Grazing Forward, tried and tested methods and practices that benefit the environment will be introduced to ranchers. As it stands, over 6,000 acres will be covered under the initiative, extending New Acre’s reach by 33 percent.
As part of the collaboration, A&W Canada and Cargill will provide CAD 1.8 million towards supporting ranchers in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Through the application of large-scale regenerative agricultural practices, up to 12,578MT of greenhouse gas emissions will be sequestered annually. Community-based actions will form the basis of the Grazing Forward program and will include all community stakeholders. Enhanced grazing, restoring native grasslands and wetlands, along with the afforestation of trees and shrubs, will be the initiative’s targets.
Keeping true to its word of empowering ranchers, the initiative will count on experienced ranchers to share their success stories and the tried and tested methods that contribute towards sustainable stewardship. Balancing food production methods and addressing climate change is not always easy. The challenges are numerous and will only increase with time. But the timely address of such issues will contribute towards positive resolutions.