Advancing Eco Agriculture and Citizens of Humanity Group Launch New Data-Driven Standard, Integrity Grown™, Setting High Bar for Regenerative Cotton
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MIDDLEFIELD, Ohio ~ MIDDLEFIELD, Ohio-- Advancing Eco Agriculture (AEA) has recently launched a new data-driven standard for growing regenerative cotton called Integrity Grown™. This standard sets a high bar for regenerative cotton growing practices that aim to increase yields, lower chemical inputs and water usage, and improve soil health.

According to John Kempf, Chief Vision Officer for AEA, many growers are caught up in the belief that using more chemicals and water is necessary to increase yields. This is particularly true in the case of cotton, a crop that is heavily sprayed with chemicals, depleting soil nutrition and life. However, Kempf believes that there is another way to effectively grow cotton through regenerative agriculture practices.

Integrity Grown™ is a critical step forward in the regenerative cotton growing program initiated by AEA and premium denim company Citizens of Humanity Group in 2022. The program aims to empower and attract more cotton growers to transition to regenerative practices. So far, over three million pounds of regenerative cotton have been sourced through this initiative.

Kempf believes that by selling this cotton through high-value markets such as Citizens of Humanity Group's premium denim, they can demonstrate the effectiveness of regenerative practices for cotton growers.

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The Integrity Grown™ standard includes rigorous measurement and data collection by AEA to ensure accountability and consistency. According to Amy Williams, Chief Executive Officer for Citizens of Humanity Group, this standard will provide consumers with a deeper level of transparency into the cotton growing practices of regenerative farmers supplying them. Williams hopes that this will help improve one of the most chemical-intensive and soil-degrading systems of agriculture - growing cotton.

So how does the Integrity Grown™ standard work? AEA will provide on-field support for growers throughout their three-year transition period and beyond. Certified agronomists and field consultants specializing in regenerative practices will conduct on-site visits and testing throughout the growing season. They will use various testing methods, such as plant sap analysis, soil testing, and in the near future, soil DNA sequencing, to measure the criteria required to meet the Integrity Grown™ standard. This will allow for ongoing data collection and analysis to measure the effectiveness of regenerative practices on plant and soil health, as well as yield maximization for growers.

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Growers who meet AEA's Integrity Grown™ standards will receive a bronze, silver, or gold status for their regenerative practices. This status is determined by measuring key data points such as reduction/elimination of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, tillage events, cover crop use, non-GMO seed use, beneficial biology usage, nitrogen efficiency, compost use, livestock grazing, soil carbon testing, soil biology testing, and pesticide residue testing.

To learn more about Integrity Grown™ and the regenerative cotton industry, listeners can tune into a conversation between John Kempf and Amy Williams on the Regenerative Agriculture Podcast.

Founded in 2006 by Amish farmer John Kempf, Advancing Eco Agriculture (AEA) is dedicated to increasing yields and crop performance while reducing or eliminating the need for pesticides and fertilizers that inhibit natural growing systems. The company has helped thousands of growers implement regenerative agricultural practices on over four million acres globally.

Citizens of Humanity Group consists of two ready-to-wear labels - Citizens of Humanity and AGOLDE - each with a unique voice in the denim market. The group is committed to using innovative fabrics from around the world and facilitating product development in its vertically owned facilities to create high-quality denim products.

For more information about AEA or Citizens of Humanity Group's initiatives towards regenerative agriculture practices for cotton growing, please contact
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