New Carbon Reduction Initiatives in the Agricultural Industry
In the last ten years alone, the agricultural industry has experienced remarkable, unprecedented shifts, all driven by the goal of becoming more environmentally friendly.
Today, being eco-conscious is about far more than ticking a couple of boxes or recycling the odd bit of plastic – a genuine desire to protect the environment has meant that businesses are now readdressing their entire production process.
We are, all of us, reassessing the way that we do things to see if we can adopt a better, more sustainable approach.
The issue of carbon in the agricultural industry
Carbon reduction is a huge topic right now, and in worldwide environmental policies, companies across all industries are implementing critical changes to reduce carbon production.
For the agricultural sector, this change couldn’t have come sooner.
In a 2019 report, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change revealed that 23% of greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans come from agriculture and forestry.
In 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) produced a report which stated that to successfully limit climate change to an impact of 1.5°C, huge changes need to be made. By 2050, we need to, globally, reach net-zero carbon dioxide emissions.
The challenge that the agricultural industry faces is successfully feeding our expanding population without forsaking the health of our planet. But how can we hope to achieve this?
This blog will reveal some of the latest carbon reduction initiatives being introduced to the agricultural industry right now and show the initiatives that our brilliant partner, Andrade, is implementing to reduce its carbon footprint.
What carbon reduction initiatives are producers using right now?
Carbon farming using soil
Carbon farming is a popular process, which is praised for its simplicity, effectiveness, and incentive to farmers.
Carbon farming involves minimising the amount of carbon dioxide that escapes into the air when the soil is moved.
Soil is a natural carbon container – plants take in carbon dioxide from the air as they grow, any excess carbon is stored in the soil, so it is no longer present in the air.
However, when the soil is disturbed (by ploughing, for example), the carbon is allowed to escape back into the air.
Carbon farming works by paying producers to farm in a way that minimises the disturbance of the soil. This can be achieved by not tilling the soil, planting diverse crops, using cover crops, encouraging the growth of microbes in the soil, and rotating the fields used to feed livestock.
Recent studies have revealed that carbon farming only costs around $10-$100 to remove a tonne of CO2. In contrast, alternative mechanical technologies cost $100-$1,000 per tonne.
This is a low-cost strategy, which does not require expensive equipment. What’s more, it has proven to be highly effective.
We all know that forests are one of our most invaluable natural resources, and our climate depends on their existence.
A single mature tree can absorb 48 pounds of carbon dioxide every year. Just imagine how much good a forest can do!
Typically, farming and agriculture involve producers cutting down forests to create more land space for production.
However, to achieve our global carbon reduction targets, producers are being encouraged to protect the forests.
These forest protection initiatives include planting more trees, supporting the growth of existing forests, managing forests more conscientiously, and restoring any declining forests.
To incentivise producers, the European Commission has announced the 2021 Farm to Fork Strategy. This will “launch a Carbon Farming initiative to promote a new green business model that rewards climate-friendly practices by land managers, based on the climate benefits they provide.”
As such, forest management and regrowth will play a massive role in helping producers attain these rewards.
Biomass is an organic material that is derived from waste products produced by plants and animals.
Biomass has enormous potential as a fuel because it is organic, renewable and natural. What’s more, producers have access to an abundance of biomass as a natural by-product of their processes.
The benefits of biomass include:
– It is widely available
– It is a renewable energy source
– It is cheap for the consumer and provides an extra income for producers
– It is carbon neutral
– It reduces our dependency on fossil fuels
– It means that less waste will be sent to fill up landfills
Working towards carbon credit certification
The carbon credit certification is a label that is fast becoming sought-after by retailers and consumers.
Industry organisations like Carbon Trust award carbon credit certifications. According to Carbon Trust, ‘A carbon-neutral certification demonstrates an organisation’s commitment to decarbonisation and the neutralisation of remaining impact through the support of environmental projects.’
This certification is highly regulated and internationally recognised, making it a fantastic asset for producers to earn.
The work of Andrade – implementing new and intuitive carbon reduction initiatives
In recent years, Brazilian lime producer Andrade Sun Farms has been going above and beyond to achieve more eco-conscious production methods.
After achieving the organic accreditation, they didn’t stop there – they are taking their eco-conscious initiatives one step further by implementing new and intuitive carbon reduction initiatives.
Andrade is currently developing The Environmental Project to assess current lime production methods and identify positive environmental impacts and the carbon footprint.
After assessing the ecological practices of soil, water and air conservation in their current production method, they will use these findings to make their process even more eco-conscious.
What’s more, Andrade will market their eco-conscious limes under the new sister brand, LimaVerde. LimaVerde champions innovative sustainability by selling limes grown in properties that fully comply with environmental legislation and where 20% of their land consists of forest plantations.
We’re so excited to see all the fascinating ways producers respond to the current global need for increased sustainability.
Across the world, producers and suppliers are reverting to a traditional way of growing. They are paving the way for a sustainable agricultural sector, which will serve us for long into the future.
If you’d like to learn more about our range of fresh, tasty and eco-conscious limes, get in touch today. Have a chat with our team, and find out what we can do for your business.