Gentle farming the first UK farm to join the Agreena Carbon program,
Leaders in farm carbon programs and regenerative farming guidance.
Farm carbon programs
The basics :
Farming is one of few industries that has the potential to act as part of the climate solution.
A carbon payment program incentives and provides funding for farmers to transition to more sustainable farming techniques.
Programs allow flexibility in the type of practices you may choose to implement and reward you for the level of actions you take.
Companies must only ever use carbon purchases as a last resort to compensate for their unavoidable emissions. Companies should measure and reduce as far as possible before purchase and they must have a clear plan to net zero.
Carbon trading has been around for decades usually in the form of tree carbon. Carbon storage in soils is simply a new product on this carbon trading shelf, but one that benefits multiple stakeholders when carried out effectively.
This is the best time ever to be a farmer:
With all of this farmers looking to farm more sustainably
are in a perfect position to get the financial support they need.
Carbon programs are very new and can be complex.
What to ask and look out for as a farmer before getting involved?
All programs have a core way of operating.
Firstly a baseline assessment to understand your farm, soil and
operations is carried out. Next you will be asked to plan a
new strategy, growing cover crops for example, after these practices
have taken place on the ground a verification process occurs to
assess if you actually did what you said you were going to do.
The new strategy assessment takes place based on
the practices you have implemented, this is then compared to the baseline assessment the difference between these two calculations gives the number of certificates and therefore the amount of money you can expect to receive.
These calculations are either carried our using computer modelling or soil sampling both methods have pros and cons the best programs use a combination of both.
Before joining a carbon program as a farmer I would recommend you get a clear answer to the following questions:
1) How does the program deal with Green washing?
2) What are the commitment levels in terms of practices and time.
3) Who has control over the certificates that are produced, how are they going to be sold and what certification level are they produced to?
4) Does the program have a buffer, and how does the buffer operate. An expected buffer should be between 20 and 30 percent.
5) What are all the costs of taking part in the program and expected returns.
There are many other questions but this gives you a good idea of the program.
In summary carbon trading is an exciting and interesting opportunity but remember it is complex, seek the right advice, make sure you are in control and understand what you are signing up to.
As the farmer your doing the work on the ground and your the one with the asset and the story to tell.
Please reach out if you would like some advice.
This is the program we as a farm are signed up to: