Reversing Climate Change Through Sustainable Food: Patagonia Provisions Attempts to Scale a 'Big Wall'

by William Rosenzweig, Alastair Iles, Seren Pendleton-Knoll, and Robert Strand

This case study focuses on Birgit Cameron, senior director of Patagonia Provisions, and several of her colleagues at both Patagonia Provisions and Patagonia as they attempt to increase the scale of sustainable agriculture. The company is attempting to scale up regenerative organic agriculture in two ways. First, Patagonia Provisions is seeking ways to increase the size of its own operations to grow sales and reduce input costs. Second, the company wants to influence the broader food production system, including the practices of other companies, in order to help reverse climate change. Scaling up its own operations will help Provisions become more profitable and potentially allow it to reduce consumer prices; it will also increase the positive environmental impact of Provisions. Influencing the practices of other food companies is key to Patagonia's broader goals of repairing the food chain and reversing climate change.

Learning Objectives

(1) Provide an example of a company that has chosen to expand into a new market. (2) Describe the elements of environmental degradation addressed by the growing sustainable agriculture industry. (3) Introduce the concept of regenerative organic agriculture, along with its associated benefits and challenges. (4) Provide a brief overview of some of the regulatory efforts that affect farms and suppliers in the United States. (5) Demonstrate the effective use of a venture capital branch within an established company. (6) Present an example of a company that is attempting to influence an entire production system that operates in a substantially different way than the company itself operates.


Pub Date: Mar 31, 2017

Discipline: Social Enterprise

Subjects: Environmental protection, Government policy, Social issues, Consumer behavior, Market positioning, Corporate strategy, Suppliers, Growth strategy, Sustainability, Green business

Product #: B5888-PDF-ENG

Industry: Agriculture, Forestry, fishing & hunting, Apparel, Food

Geography: United States

Length: 36 page(s)

Berkeley Haas Case Series
Berkeley Haas Case Series The Berkeley Haas Case Series is a collection of business case studies written by faculty members at the Haas School of Business. Cases are conceived, developed, written, and published throughout the year, on subjects ranging from entrepreneurship and strategy to finance and marketing. Each case includes a teaching note for use in the classroom.


Berkeley Haas Case Series

A new collection of business case studies from Berkeley Haas

The aim of the Berkeley Haas Case Series is to incite business innovation by clarifying disruptive trends and questioning the status quo.

Learn more
Follow Us