Allan Savory and his approach to Holistic Management

Allan Savory and his approach to Holistic Management

Allan Savory is an ecologist, livestock farmer and the president of the Savory Institute, an organisation with a mission to regenerate the world’s grasslands through Holistic Management.

His insightful messages have been conveyed globally and he has gained a reputation as one of the greatest ecologists of our time.

Alan Savory

Allan Savory – Founder of holistic management in agriculture

Allan Savory was born and raised in Zimbabwe, growing up on a 40,000-acre ranch. After gaining a degree in biology and botany, Savory took an interest in land degradation and began researching a holistic framework using moving livestock to reverse desertification and, ultimately, heal the environment.

In the 1960s, Savory began to research the correlation between depleting wildlife and increasing poverty. It was here that he made a significant breakthrough in understanding the direct impact that grassland degradation has on humanity, contributing to some of our most urgent issues surrounding climate change, food insecurity and poverty.

It was after his move to the Cayman Islands that Savory’s methodology of Holistic Management began to take off. At first, he introduced a process of planned grazing which involved moving livestock in a way that mimics nature to allow enough time for land and plants to fully recover before re-grazing.

The careful planning allowed the affected brittle grasslands to regenerate.

In 1984, together with his wife, Jody Butterfield, Savory moved to the US where they founded the centre for Holistic Management.

While he lived in the US, Savory never forgot his roots and formed the Africa Centre for Holistic Management with his wife, Jody and philanthropist Sam Brown. Based in Zimbabwe, Savory donated 2,520 hectares of land for the benefit of the African people to use as a learning site for holistic management.

Thousands of farmers, ranchers and pastoralists across the globe have adopted Holistic Management and holistic decision making. Recognising its ability to reverse desertification, conservation projects, NGOs, universities and government agencies across five continents are also practising regenerative agriculture to restore the environment.

Allan Savory’s breakthrough discoveries have promoted a large-scale restoration of the world’s grasslands. In 2013 he shared his methodology with the world through a hugely popular Ted Talk which sparked further conversation around the link between desertification and social breakdown.


After his Ted Talk in 2013, an in-depth documentary was made to show how Savory’s Holistic Management methodology restored Zimbabwean grasslands. In this documentary, Savory gives us an insightful look into how planned grazing reversed desertification.


Land to Market and the Ecological Outcome Verification (EOV)

“The world’s first regenerative sourcing solution for meat, dairy, wool and leather.”

The Savory Hub introduced Ecological Outcome Verification (EOV) to assess farms and ranches around the world as regenerative suppliers of meat, dairy, wool and leather.

The EOV is the science within the Savory Institute’s Land to Market program. The verification is assessed through a number of land health criteria including soil health, biodiversity and ecosystem function.

Through the Land to Market sector of the Savory Hub, brands and retailers can meet the consumer demand for regeneratively-sourced products. The EOV seal provides consumers with transparency about the regenerating land in which the product originated.

The EOV seal has enabled consumers to learn more about the need for regenerative agriculture and sparked the preference to seek EOV approved products.

Savory Global Network – a community passionate about regenerative farming

Everyone has an important role to play in healing the environment and the Savory Global Network has built a global community who work together to make the world a better place.

Ata Regenerative is the only accredited regional Savory Hub within New Zealand. We have adopted the strategy of holistic planned grazing to improve soil health and promote healthy pastures.

Through Allan Savory’s research, we have learned more about the benefits of healthy landscapes in storing carbon, promoting biodiversity and creating the perfect growing environment for nutritious plant and animal food.

Our mission here at Ata Regenerative is to support New Zealand farmers in adopting regenerative farming practices which, as Savory’s research suggests, will also improve social outcomes.

You too can be a part of the Savory Global Network. The process begins by joining a virtual meetup on the last Thursday of every month.

The meetup offers an opportunity to meet others who are passionate about regenerative farming. Conversations are casual yet informative and, from there, you’ll learn how to become an accredited professional within the Savory Institute.

Register here for the next Virtual Meetup.

Regenerative Farming

About Ata Regenerative

As an accredited regional Savory Hub, Ata Regenerative are passionate supporters of Savory’s Holistic Management practices and we have witnessed, first hand, the many benefits of the methodology.

We have seen how regenerative practices have enabled farmers to better manage their land and, in turn, solve many of the challenges New Zealand farmers face today.

Here at Ata Regenerative, we are supporting farmers as they move towards managing their farms holistically. We believe New Zealand has the potential to be a super power in regenerative agriculture and it is our mission to work with farmers to make this a reality.

If you’re looking to move away from industrial systems and learn more about how regenerative agriculture can benefit your land, contact us today.

Ata Regenerative are at the forefront of regenerative agriculture practice in New Zealand. With 17 years working in the regenerative space and as the only EOV provider in the country, Ata Regenerative can assist with your transition to farm practice that focuses on the regeneration of soils, increased productivity and biological diversity, as well as economic and social well-being. To find out more, contact us here

Dr Hugh JellieMarch 6, 20200

Dr Hugh Jellie

Dr Hugh Jellie is the founder of Ata Regenerative and has spent 17 years researching farming systems and regenerative agriculture around the world. He now helps farmers, organisations and individuals change to deliver improved environmental, social, financial and health outcomes.