Opportunities in the forward-thinking world of regenerative farming

Opportunities in the forward-thinking world of regenerative farming.

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Written by Thomas Gent from @Gentle Farming

The Gentle Farming system will produce the first carbon offset certificates in the Autumn. The buyers can see a portfolio of local farms or those that reflect their needs. Gentle farming will sell the offsets and begin paying farmers this winter.

We have had a busy few months moving things forward both in terms of working with farmers and agronomists and also in creating interest from potential companies wanting to invest in their local regenerative farms. We now have over 30 farms subscribed and using the system this harvest to verify their regenerative farming practices and calculate their carbon offset potential. In turn this leads to us being able to produce certified soil carbon offset certificates and to being able to verify these farms are improving their soils and producing food in a carbon friendly way. Free training has been offered to agronomists to build and share knowledge within their industry and so that they can assist their farmers to understand the opportunities within regenerative farming to generate new income streams. Consumers are becoming much more aware of the eco credentials of companies they choose to buy from as well as wanting to connect much more deeply with nature following the COVID pandemic.

This shift in consumer interest is only on the increase with recent reports showing consumers are willing to pay more and actively seek out eco-friendly products. This means there is an increased focus and urgency by businesses into how to deliver this for their customers and meet their own challenging carbon targets. As I speak to corporate sustainability departments and consultants I see that there is a strong demand for local UK based, high quality environmental projects and sources of offsetting that these businesses can invest in. Gentle farming and its certification partner CommodiCarbon has a methodology that will validate soil carbon offsets taking place on farmland soils and verify the regenerative practices that underpin this soil improvement. The NFU have published their pledges and set their Net zero target goal for 2040. (Only 19 harvests away!) With supermarkets and other industries setting even more ambitious targets we simply do not have the time, action must be taken now. Farming and forestry are among the few industries with potential to sequester more carbon than they are emitting from their activities.

This will require great change which must be supported financially as strong financially viable farms will be in a position to invest in their soils and push the boundaries of new techniques and technology. Carbon offset income streams will contribute to this as will the possibility of increased demand for carbon friendly produce. But carbon is just the start of this new market development. Water and building companies look to improve the local biodiversity of their projects. Regenerative farming can offer a huge range of environmental projects for businesses to support and invest in. The key is to have a structured high quality certification and validation process. Which will be the basis for selling soil carbon offsets but also lead to other opportunities in water improvement, biodiversity improvement and higher quality produce coming from these farms.

The Gentle Farming system will produce the first carbon offset certificates in the Autumn. The focus will be to build a website that gives a shop window to each individual farm by creating a profile that highlights the story of their farm and the environmentally beneficial work they do. The buyers can see a portfolio of local farms or those that reflect their needs. Gentle farming will sell the offsets and begin paying farmers this winter. I hope that having a group of high-quality soil focused farmers and a system to verify their carbon offset will lead to other opportunities within their community and supply chains, for example selling grain at a premium price, investment in environmental projects, marketing for other diversification projects. Marketing this in the right way with the right story and a young ambitious brand to sit alongside it I believe has the greatest potential to make a difference in terms of rewarding and recognising the hard work that goes into being a nature focused farmer. I think that regenerative/sustainable farming practices are going to boom in the next decade and the farmers already on this journey can and should lead the way. Most people talk about all the problems coming in the future, I can’t help but smile and all I see is opportunities to make a difference and encourage more people to love the soil that feeds us.

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New Fuel Supplier On The Way

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Farmdeals is very pleased to announce that Exswift Limited will soon be joining our digital online platform. Exswift deliver all types of fuel to numerous locations around Essex and further a field. We will keep you updated as to when they go live. Farmdeals.ag powered by The Farming Forum & FutureFarm. #farming #workinghard #inittogether

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