Green.org sat down with Adam Brummond, founder of Returnco, to learn how they are providing local farmers with an alternative to synthetic fertilizers.
Adam, thanks for being here. Tell us a little bit about you and your background:
After college, I partnered with my two brothers to start Return Living Soils and Plant Foods, providing local farmers with an alternative to synthetic fertilizers.
Over a decade later, and we’re leading a team of 26, managing B2B growth, and preparing a targeted launch of our unique offering to a new customer. I’m also an active partner in a 2,500-acre organic, regenerative farm, R.D. Brummond + Sons.
In addition to responsible farming, I’ve grown a passion for film into a commercial production company, The Factory, here in LA. We’ve built a triple-digit client roster that includes brand icons like Indian Motorcycles. And of course, the commercial film work is how we pay for the passion project—a cinematic homage to the true stewards of the land, American farmers.
DYING BREED got some buzz on the festival circuit and is now in full-length feature film development. But it all ties back to the land… I was raised on the land. And I’m dedicated to it… I recognize the unique opportunity to play a small role in the global effort to create a more sustainable planet. And with the help of a committed team, we intend to make that “small role” a little bigger.
What would you do with $1 Billion dollars?
Could $1 billion dollars change the world? I think so. It starts with education—of the children and ourselves. And it continues with action.
One of the most important actions our generation can take is to educate the next generation on the endless benefits of regenerative agriculture and motivate them to get involved. In 2022, we rolled out a learning gardens initiative called The Garden Project. The community interest is there… But the biggest barrier to entry for these gardens is always cost.
So, with the financial backing of that magnitude, we could replicate that model and build thousands of those programs worldwide—introducing regenerative gardening to elementary-school-aged children.
Offering kids an opportunity to have a meaningful connection with the earth and their food. By teaching them about food waste and the full life cycle of plants from an early age, we’re actively growing that knowledge base of the importance of soil health—that healthy soil leads to healthy food, healthy people, and a healthy planet.
Why do you think sustainability is such an important topic today?
I believe sustainability is no longer an option. Now more than ever, consumers are paying attention to where their products come from. As our climate becomes more erratic, year over year, people are waking up to the hard fact that we have caused extreme harm to our planet.
The only way for us to save the planet is to regenerate. My hope is that more brands continue to invest in regeneration in an effort to educate the masses because our soils can simply no longer sustain. And while sustainability is great, the only hope for our soil, food, people, and planet is regeneration.
What do you envision your industry looking like 10 years from now?
I hope that the lawn and garden industry switches gears from growing lawns to growing gardens. The pandemic played a large role in the return of victory gardens, inspiring a whole new generation of green thumbs. And there is so much confusion and distrust in what we’re actually buying at your average supermarket… The only way to really know what you’re putting in your body is to grow your own food. If we, as an industry, lead a narrative that entices the next generation to grow healthy, nutrient-dense food at home… We could see real change… Even within 10 years.
What can the average person do to make a difference?
Every bit counts. So every person can help make a difference. Consider turning your lawn into an urban farm. If you don’t have a yard, start with some potted plants, like tomatoes. If that’s not feasible, buy local and demand regenerative organic food. The more the demand increases for regenerative, organic foods, the more supply will be created. And that will lead to the difference that we all need to see.