It’s no secret that immediate action is required to deal with the big challenges we are facing globally, whether it be climate change, loss of biodiversity or social issues such as inequality. In 2020, amidst lockdowns and a global pandemic, our team of Actionists put their heads together to figure out how we could return to better. How we could create a system that drives meaningful action towards a better, kinder, more positive future for the planet.
Years of research, innovation and prototyping had already gone into this work, but we needed to rapidly scale the solutions. Working with both our Growers and our markets we were able to do so. With the goal to drive progress over perfection, connection instead of separation, and tools not rules, ZQRX began.
Since 2007, The New Zealand Merino Company (NZM) have been working with wool growers to supply the world’s most ethically sourced wool under the ZQ brand. ZQ is a third party audited standard that requires Growers to thoroughly understand key animal health, environmental and social issues and adhere to a range of best farm management practices. ZQ is already the leading ethical wool in the world, but we know our Growers are doing work that goes above and beyond this already high bar.
We are highly aware of the increasing consumer demand for not only ethical wool but for wool which is bettering the environment and improving personal and community well-being. With this in mind, we wanted to develop a solution that would both celebrate Growers and meet this growing consumer demand.
Through ZQRX we are driving a shift towards regenerative mindset at meaningful scale. There is no one dimensional solution to regeneration, which is why the Regenerative Index (RX) measures and incentivises improvements through 15 key performance indicators (KPI’s).
ZQRX goes beyond sustainability and focuses on meaningful actions that will contribute to improvement across the whole farm system. The Regenerative Index holistically examines the qualities of ZQ-certified properties, highlighting and measuring practices that go above and beyond the ZQ system. Regenerative Agriculture has the potential to be part of a solution to the world's most pressing environmental and societal challenges, focusing on improving soil health, creating more resilient farming systems and increasing biodiversity to work with, not against, nature. For NZM, Regenerative Agriculture is much more than a set of farming practices, it is a change in mindset that questions the status quo and strives for continual improvement.