Landmark Research From the Environmental Defense Fund and Farm Journal’s Trust In Food Initiative Shows Big Business Opportunities in Sustainability for Ag Retail and Inputs Industry

Lenexa, Kan., (Jan. 29, 2020) – New research conducted by Farm Journal’s Trust In Food initiative, in partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), highlights how sustainability and conservation-focused products and services are changing the ag retail business, and leading to improvements in those businesses’ profitability and reputation.


“Agricultural retailers have tremendous influence over food production in the U.S. and beyond, given their role in informing farmers’ purchasing decisions and providing agronomic advice,” noted Theresa Eberhardt, project manager at Environmental Defense Fund and expert reviewer of the report. “This also means ag retailers have an unprecedented opportunity to become unexpected conservation heroes, and to accelerate sustainable food production. Our new report offers a roadmap for how to get there.”


The report, Growing for the future: Business lessons from ag retail’s conservation leaders,” documents key insights gathered through in-depth interviews with nine sustainability leaders in the ag retail sector, as well as through broader feedback from a national survey of more than 70 ag retail professionals. Collectively, these professionals service each of the nine USDA Farm Resource Regions and represent more than $1.7 billion in annual revenue.

Among the highlights of the report, researchers:

  • Reveal how innovative ag retail companies are successfully integrating products and services related to conservation agriculture and the sustainability of agriculture into their business portfolios.
  • Demonstrate the positive ripple effect — actual and anticipated — that integration of conservation can have on an ag retail organization’s bottom line, on the success of its grower-customers and on the environment.
  • Identify actionable steps that can help the ag retail sector and its partners scale adoption of sustainability-related products and services. This in turn will support greater adoption of on-farm conservation and sustainable practices across the nation.

The report presents a clear business case for ag retailers to dramatically transform their businesses to meet the needs of grower-customers, the broader agri-food value chain, local communities and the world’s natural resources.

The report can be accessed at


About Farm Journal

Farm Journal is the nation’s leading business information and media company serving the agricultural market. Started 142 years ago with the preeminent Farm Journal magazine, the company serves the row crop, livestock, produce and retail sectors through branded websites, eNewsletters and phone apps; business magazines; live events including conferences, seminars and tradeshows; nationally broadcasted television and radio programs; a mobile text marketing business; and an array of data-driven paid information products.

About Trust In Food

Trust In Food is a purpose-driven division of Farm Journal dedicated to rebuilding consumer confidence in the U.S. agricultural value chain by partnering with farmers and ranchers to accelerate conservation agriculture practice adoption and maintenance benefiting land, water, air and the financial health of farm businesses. It advances this mission through data science, research, strategic communications and the omnichannel Farm Journal platform in collaboration with conservation organizations, government agencies, agribusinesses, food companies and retailers, and other food system stakeholders.

About Environmental Defense Fund

Environmental Defense Fund (, a leading international nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. Connect with us on Growing Returns, and on Twitter.

Identify actionable steps that can help the ag retail sector and its partners scale adoption of sustainability-related products and services. This in turn will support greater adoption of on-farm conservation and sustainable practices across the nation.

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