- Florida Crystals – the only brand of organic sugars made from sugarcane grown in the U.S. – announced that its three organic sugars are now Regenerative Organic Certified
- The company’s philosophy is to manage its organic farms under the principles of regenerative agriculture – farming practices that mimic nature – to rebuild soil and achieve carbon neutrality
Florida Crystals Corporation announced that its organic sugar, organic molasses and organic rice are now Regenerative Organic Certified (ROC).
Florida Crystals’ 10,000-acre organic farm – the only ROC farmland in Florida – and the goods it produces earned the certification after the company demonstrated it grows its organic sugarcane and organic rice following the principles of regenerative agriculture to meet demanding standards for soil health and carbon capture as well as fairness to farmers and workers.
ROC uses the USDA Certified Organic standard as a baseline. From there, it adds important criteria and benchmarks that incorporate the three major pillars of regenerative organic agriculture — soil health, animal welfare, and social fairness –into one certification.
“As part of the agricultural community, we believe we must be proactive and provide solutions to continue to feed the world in a meaningful way while also building our soil’s vitality and drawing down and storing carbon, just as nature intended the ecological system to work,” said Jaime Vega, Florida Crystals’ Vice President of Agriculture. “We encourage all farmers to follow these practices, which enhance our natural resources while also improving productivity.”
Florida Crystals says it conducted an internal, farm-by-farm review of its agricultural operations two years ago to analyze how many regenerative agriculture principles the company followed and to create a blueprint to strengthen its regenerative agriculture programming. The structured program — based on testing, information and data — now informs each decision made on its farms.
To meet the critical goals of improving soil health and carbon capture, Florida Crystals noted it focused on five main regenerative agriculture areas, including minimizing soil disturbance, keeping soils covered, increasing biodiversity above and below ground, upcycling byproducts, and reducing synthetic chemicals.
Florida Crystals added that it rotates sugarcane, rice, vegetables and cover crops to naturally replenish its soil and promote biodiversity below ground.
Florida Crystals also researched pathways to upcycle its byproducts, from sugarcane fiber to soil recaptured in the mill to rice hulls and more. The company says it uses its sugarcane fiber to produce green energy that powers its sugar operations. Additionally, soil that is recovered after sugarcane milling is mixed with other byproducts, including ash and sugarcane leaves, and composted to generate organic fertilizer that nourishes its entire organic crop.
“Florida Crystals ensures their farming practices work in harmony with their region’s precious natural environment and neighboring communities,” said Regenerative Organic Alliance Executive Director Elizabeth Whitlow. “We are thrilled to see that their Regenerative Organic Certified farming methods produce high-quality sugar while building soil, benefiting wildlife, and shaping a better water future for Florida.”