- The person pays a once-off joining fee ($50)
- The person has applied for 5 organic shares at $10 per share
- The person is able to use or contribute to the services of the co-operative
- Is supportive of the overall mission of ORICoop
Located just north of the Great Eastern Highway, approximately 1.5 hours’ drive east of Perth, Jodi and Ian James have established a thriving farm with multiple species companion cropping in the golden outback town of Meckering. Located on the traditional lands of the Ballardong Nyoongar people, the township of Meckering derives its name from an Aboriginal language and means ‘place of water’ or ‘moon on water’, and it is precisely this substance that led to the expansion of farmland in the area. Ian and Jodi’s farm is called Whare Koa, a Maori name meaning ‘happy home’.
Ian’s family were originally farming further north in the more marginal areas of the Wheatbelt, when as part of his farming education he traveled overseas on Agricultural Exchange to Sweden. While on exchange, he was badly injured in a severe car accident, totally disrupting his life. Ian spent a few years recovering overseas before making the decision to return home.
At this time in the early 1990s, he first heard about the potential impacts of climate change in the early 1990s. Climate predictions indicated that weather patterns and temperatures were to get drier and hotter, with the frequency, intensity and duration of hot spells likely to impact the landscape and the human and agricultural systems dependent on it. In a candid conversation with his father, Ian explained, “if it gets any drier or hotter here, we’re done for. We’ve got to buy land south before it gets too expensive.”
Shortly afterwards, the family purchased farmland in Meckering 200 km south, it was decided that Ian should settle on the Meckering farm while his mother and father would stay on the northern property for some years before later selling and retiring from farming.
The Meckering landscape is largely comprised of sand plains, flat with rolling shallow broad valleys and peppered with creeks. Ian refers to the low inherent fertility of the sands as ‘light country’, lacking the nutrients necessary to produce a healthy strong crop with sufficient yields. This is typically addressed in conventional systems by applying considerable doses of synthetic fertiliser. However, the quick draining habit of sandy soils makes it hard for the soil to hold onto the fertilisers applied.
“Fertilisers and chemicals are a mask. They’re just putting into the soil what the crop needs, but the soil is being robbed of what sustains it: organic matter and biological diversity,” says Ian.
When they first began farming in Meckering in the late 1990s, the James’ were following conventional best practice but they began to realise the limitations of this approach in such low-nutrient soil. By the time Jodi and Ian were married, it was becoming obvious that the intensification of land use under conventional cropping methods and long-term fertiliser application was depleting their soil further. Their farm lacked the scale to justify the investment in the large agricultural machinery and equipment necessary to support a conventional farming enterprise that would turn a modest profit. Yet their smaller equipment was turning their daily farming grind into a harder operation than it should be, and they were struggling to get through their routine farming activities.
After experiencing a couple of consecutive dry seasons, Ian could no longer ignore the changes in climatic conditions and their impact on their farming system and finances. The hotter seasons were becoming drier, the wet seasons shorter, and their struggles intensified with the cumulative effects of drier conditions, poor-quality soils and the low resilience of plants. Neighbouring farmers imparted their advice, “you need to spend more money on fertilisers and chemicals.”
Cultivating opportunity from crisis
Ian and Jodi were already spending more money on chemical inputs than what they were earning, sliding deeper into debt with each passing year. A particularly bad year placed them on the precipice of financial ruin while their input bill had blown out beyond viability. Farming to the very brink of possibility and liability within a conventional agricultural system and failing to get sufficient yields in return, Jodi decided to explore a way in which to farm without the added cost of increasingly expensive inputs. Coming close to crisis instigated an ongoing pursuit of knowledge for organic and regenerative agricultural techniques and soil biology.
“It was tough at first, but we were committed to learning. We adapted, trialled and discovered new techniques,” recalls Ian.
With an imperative to secure the future of their farm, Ian and Jodi selected methods to improve soil health and fertility and reduce reliance on chemical fertilisers. Conversion to organic became a process of experimentation, observation, learning and reflection.
“Every year, our farm is improving, and it’s improving exponentially. Every year we see this low-fertility country getting stronger and stronger naturally. And we can see it visually: it darkens with the carbon. Organic soil carbon is the foundation of soil fertility.”
This experiential knowledge of building natural soil fertility was key to reducing their farm’s exposure to volatile input prices and ensuring their farm’s survival.
“One by one, farms around us were sold,” recalls Ian.
The issues he had noticed affected the whole industry.
“Many families in the district left farming and were gradually replaced by bigger operations, but we’re still here. Many of the farmers who said to me that we were going to go broke [pursuing organic agriculture] are now gone.”
Together, Ian and Jodi are continuing and improving the regeneration of their farming landscape. They employ multi-species cropping methods, planting grass crops, plus oats, rye, wheat, and also lupins and approximately three or four other species of legumes. Planting diverse and beneficial plants provides a food source for a broader range of soil biology, lifting the resilience and fertility of the land, improving the soil function, structure and water-holding capacity and continuing to value-add to the productivity of the landscape.
“The soil was pretty highly degraded because of past practices, but it has responded amazingly to biology and lupins love it. We worked out organics suits light land farming, and lupins in particular as part of a multi-species cropping program are the key to it. Lupins are yielding about twice as much as grass crops.”
For the love of lupins- the real regenerative legume
With over 200 species, lupins are grown in a wide array of regions across the globe, ranging from the Mediterranean to the southwestern United States, northern Mexico to both eastern and western parts of Australia. Two varieties of lupin are most commonly grown in Australia, with the majority of lupin production occurring in the winter/spring rain-fed parts of southwestern Western Australia. As a high-protein grain, it is commonly grown and harvested for human and animal consumption, yet it also holds many advantages in both cropping and mixed cropping–livestock farming systems.
Lupins produce a significant nitrogen contribution for subsequent crops and can increase the availability of phosphorus in soils. They provide a disease break for cereal crops and can help control grass weeds within cropping sequences. Other benefits include improved soil structure, increased water use efficiency of subsequent crops, and increased yields of cereals following lupin crop rotation, particularly when grown in sandy soils.
“Lupins are a fantastic tool for an organic farmer, because chemical nitrogen, although widely available and fairly cheap, is not an organic substance. It kills biology and basically destroys sustainably. Whereas lupins create a perfect environment for other crops to grow, like grass crops,” notes Ian.
A member of the pea family, lupins produce an assorted palette of pea-like flowers with bold spikes of vibrant purples, pinks and blues, rich reds and yellows, or crisp, clean whites. When the lupins come into bloom on Jodi and Ian’s farm, the whole paddock is transformed into a sea of brilliant white. When pulled from the ground, the symbiotic relationship between lupins and the nitrogen-fixing soil bacteria rhizobia is visually evident in the small nodules that form around the plant’s roots. The increase in microbial activity and associated improvement in soil structure also maximises the retention of moisture in the soil, an important element in building the adaptive capacity of their farm in light of shorter wetter seasons and climatic variability.
In addition to a healthier farm, Ian and Jodi are now spending a lot less on (organic) farm inputs while receiving a price premium for their organic products. Ian estimates that a conventional farmer would have to produce roughly four times their yield to make the same profit.
Finding solutions to systemic industry problems
While Ian and Jodi have generated many on-farm improvements, limitations in existing organic industry structures and networks made it difficult to access markets within Australia to sell their lupins. While a few organic dairy farmers within Western Australia were purchasing their lupins to form part of their animal feed, Western Australia has a relatively small organic domestic market when compared to the eastern states. Ian discovered that the supply chain for many organic products is relatively undeveloped, particularly for many broadacre products, and there are significant problems relating to a lack of scale in the handling of grains.
Freight costs to the eastern states were also proving to be prohibitively high, particularly with the additional financial pressure points that COVID-19 and the energy crisis have added. Ian and Jodi were looking at a freight bill that amounted to two-thirds of their total farm gate price for their lupins, making it non viable to sell their product into the Eastern States.
The ORCA project endeavours to unlock some of these barriers by looking at better market opportunities for organic producers that allow more resilient profitability and increase the transparency of these grains direct from farm to end processor. The wider connections and network facilitated by the ORCA project allowed Ian and Jodi to interact with other producers and processors to tap into demand for their lupins and organise a shipping chain that was affordable and viable. ORCA has now facilitated its first shipment of over 100 tonnes of organic lupins from Western Australia to Melbourne and Brisbane. And the original ORCA Riverina project has been expanded to include ORCA producers in Western Australia thanks to funding from the Sustainable Table Fund
Another barrier endemic to the Western Australian organic industry is a lack of processors suitable for organic grains. Western Australia only contributes around 10 percent of the total Australian production of organic livestock, vegetable, fruit and grains, so the current demand is not high enough for processors to warrant the costs associated with organic management and certification for processors. Whereas organic agricultural production and demand are much higher across the Eastern States.“Through ORCA’s assistance, we’ve managed to tap into that processor capacity which is available in the east,” says Ian.
He believes these supply chain bottlenecks can be overcome through greater collaboration and investment.
“We need to band together as organic farmers in an organised manner to share and leverage our capital and asset base and share the costs and organisational capacity to set up processing and storage capacity and store grains in a way where our premium organic product is not going to deteriorate.”
“We have to be able to attract government assistance and strategic investment, get organised, and work together to set up suitable infrastructure and put the structures in place, so we can delegate management to people who hold expertise in these [processing and value-adding] techniques and skills and put those people into places, so we (producers) can get back to the business of farming. ORCA enables us to do just that”
The future lies in farmer-to-farmer knowledge exchange
Ian believes that local farmer knowledge is a valuable resource to reorient modern agriculture towards more sustainable and resilient paths of development and draw in the next generation of farmers. A lot of this knowledge has been lost over time with the spreading of the conventional agricultural paradigm and the standardised, highly industrialised external input solutions it puts forth. Rebuilding formal and informal knowledge exchange and learning between farmers is central to strengthening agricultural sustainability and resilience.
Innovative farmers like Ian and Jodi are using high-performance organic and regenerative landscape management methods and fighting the trend of the continued degradation of the landscape and soil through conventional agricultural methods with their heavy reliance on external inputs. They are demonstrating sustainable, regenerative practices on their land, as are many organic, biodynamic and regenerative farmers across Australia. With relevant policies and incentives, these practices could be extended successfully and quickly to involve a significant number of Australia’s current and next-generation farmers. Whilst there are always opportunities to learn more, enough is already known to take action now.
“The real wealth we have is our knowledge. And we can share that with the next generation and with current farmers that are frustrated by their lack of market access and price premiums. That’s what we should be doing as farmers. That’s how we can capture the value of organic farming: by focusing the energy into teaching the next generation and current farmers.”
Written by Eva Perroni as part of the ORCA project
The carbon credit ledger that is actively supporting local producers?
A new type of carbon credit has taken off in Australia, with the first set of credits quickly being snapped up by buyers keen to reduce their carbon footprint, and know the story behind each of the credits generated.
Eco-CreditsTM are the very first fully farmer-owned carbon credits in Australia, representing not only one tonne of carbon drawdown per credit, but the tireless efforts of local farmers actively improving their on-farm biodiversity and local ecosystems as a whole.
Victorian organic dairy farmers Stephen & Jo Ellen Whitsed and family have produced the first set of EcoCredits sold by ORICoop, and are already seeing the benefits they can bring not only to themselves, but fellow producers.
“The more credits sold, the more that assists farmers in their transition to better, which means more money directly into farmer’s pockets,” Stephen said.
While Stephen and his family had already been focusing on increasing the carbon levels in his soil, he believes the income from Eco-CreditsTM could encourage those new to the organic, regenerative agricultural space to improve their farming practices even more.
“We were farming that way anyway, we bought a Soil-Kee Renovator, we were using that to increase multi-species planted into our soil, while also increasing carbon for the overall benefit of our soil,” Stephen said.
“If you’ve got higher carbon levels, you’ve got a better soil, you hold more moisture in your soil for longer so you don’t need to irrigate as often. That’s a big cost savings for us especially this year when we start to irrigate with the increased price of diesel. We were heading down the path of improving our soils even though we were organic, and increasing our carbon, and when the opportunity came to get paid for our carbon credits, well we were doing it anyway and it’s a great opportunity, so we jumped at it,” he said.
“If we could potentially diversify our income from selling carbon credits we may not milk as many cows, because we currently milk 160 cows on 160 acres, so we’re pushing our country especially under an organic method. So we may reduce our stock levels back a little bit which in turn helps your soil with your farm anyway. And for the person that’s just starting afresh, it’s certainly something that you’d change your farm practice and head that way.”
Stephen has four soil dedicated testing zones on his properties in the region, which undergo annual soil testing. By design, Eco-CreditsTM avoids many of the greenwashing and double-dipping claims made for some conventional carbon credits. They are also future-proofed for potential soil carbon changes due to seasonal variation, or natural disasters such as the flooding, fire, and debris from storms faced by Stephen on his family farm based at the headwaters of the Murray River.
“Around half the EcoCredits we’ve produced are kept in our buffer reserve in case our carbon levels decrease in a specific year. The Eco-Credits are verified each year, and the footprint of each farm is factored into the number of credits that are released to the market. This ensures that each farm considers it’s footprint before releasing any credits to the marketplace. The environment certainly plays a part in it or if something happens and you have a drought or a fire or a flood or whatever it might be, there is potentially a concern as to reducing carbon levels” Stephen said.
For more information, or to purchase EcoCredits to meet your business offset goals whilst supporting local organic producers bettering their communities and the environment, click here. Or contact ORICoop directly for more information.
Email – email@example.com
Featuring the high-quality bulk organic grains of our Cooperative members, ORCA is already providing direct benefits to local farmers like Ruth and Ray Penfold as well as addressing some of the issues faced by organic producers, processors, and consumers such as sustainable pricing, transparency, and authenticity of produce.
Over 350 tonnes of bulk organic grain has already been sold under the ORCA brand since its launch. Ruth and Ray were among the first producers to sell their organic barley under ORCA, and the Riverina farmers are excited to see how the brand and its innovative technology will help them and fellow producers in the future.
“Absolutely this is a game changer, especially for someone new coming into the market,” Ruth said.
“Understanding what the buyers want and having that communication there is only a positive. It’s helping them maintain retailer shelf space and prominence for the broader industry knowing they can get reliable and quality supply, it’s a big plus,” she said.
Carolyn Suggate, Executive Director of ORICoop, said creating ORCA was about ‘Connecting the missing pieces’.
“We embarked on this ambitious ORCA project as we knew that with this support, our producers could grow more organic product, achieve better on-farm profitability and we could improve the trust and transparency in organic produce sourced directly from each of these farms,” Carolyn said.
“Given we are a Producer Cooperative, the farmers and their business sustainability is the key to all we do.”
Technology is at the forefront of helping producers achieve the transparency and traceability of organic produce now demanded by processors and consumers, as well as achieve fairer pricing along the entire supply chain. The tailored online platform ensures every product from every farm is fully traceable on the blockchain, and will also help producers manage their on-farm grain seeding, harvest and storage more efficiently.
“The whole paddock to plate is incredibly important for the transparency of the industry, and it is the way everything is moving. Where traceability and ORCA supply chain connect is having sustainable and transparent prices on farm for producers, and the buyers paying fair prices, landed at their business, and that’s the only way we’re going to have a sustainable industry moving forward for the long term,” Ruth said.
“Our two big things are transparency, and understanding the story of the buyer, the feel-good warm fuzzy moment of knowing you’re selling to a mum-and-dad dairy farm down the road, but then also knowing what the processors want and that you’re able to produce what they’re after, and knowing you have a saleable product,” she said.
“I like the fact we can send grain directly to the farmer, and you’re also dealing with another farmer on the buyer’s side who is also trying to have a sustainable business for their kids moving forward as well.”
ORICoop Director Maroye Marinkovic said the Cooperative is aiming to bring big-corp benefits to the mostly smaller family farming operations who are part of the ORCA brand.
“There are many points of differentiation for ORCA produce. Every grain, or drop of milk, can be traced back to the farm – a farm that has a powerful story to tell. ORCA is connecting farmers to a set of tools and approaches that make this possible for organic producers of any size. Thanks to digital technology,” Maroye said.
“In addition to provenance and traceability, as ORICoop members, ORCA farmers also have the opportunity to join the EcoCredit program, which enables a detailed set of data points that cover everything from soil health, biodiversity, water quality, and even native species,” he said. This builds their farm profile and determines the on-farm sustainability, natural capital and the true cost and footprint of the food that is produced. An absolute game changer,” he said.
“Having end-to-end traceability along with rich on-farm and post-farm data, certifications, test results, supply chain proof points, chain of custody – are typically things that only highly efficient corporations could achieve. ORCA aims to make this available to producers of any size, and share the upside benefits with our members.”
Maroye also sees ORCA as a way for both farmers and processors to bring the benefits of ethically and environmentally-friendly grown and processed produce to consumers.
“ORCA isn’t just about building farmer capacity, tools, and storytelling – it will go way beyond that. The vision is to strengthen and sustainably grow the entire organic value chain, with shared benefits. Farmers and manufacturers can plan together, and grow together, and bring those shared benefits to the consumer,” he said.
“There is an increasing demand for high quality, healthy and organic produce, with a transparent view of how it was produced, and where. Not only the consumers want this, but the food manufacturers, as well. Ethically sourced, environmentally friendly produce is definitely better but traditionally, the barriers were scale, price and availability of organic supply. ORCA was created to tackle these challenges, whilst improving and amplifying the benefits of organic, regenerative and biodynamic farming.”
*For more information, or to register your interest bulk produce from local ORCA producers, click here.
*To discuss your specific bulk grain requirements contact ORCA directly – firstname.lastname@example.org
*To join ORICoop as a producer or to find out click HERE
*Producers are invited to join our Regenerative Cropping day on October 24th in the Riverina
Ray Penfold and his family Jessie (7), Matilda (11), Quade (10), Amanda (11).
Location: Quandialla and Condobolin, Central West NSW
Produce: Certified organic oats and barley, conventional cropping and livestock (Merino sheep, Hereford-Angus cross cattle)
Ruth and Ray Penfold and their families have been farming for generations. Their current business structure has been in operation since 2011.
Following severe drought, they moved to certified organic cereal cropping in 2021 and have just delivered their first harvests this year. However, even within their conventional operations, Ruth and Ray already farm in a fairly regenerative manner, avoiding sprays wherever possible, using certified organic and natural fertilisers. They also focus heavily on soil health to boost crop production and improve the quality and diversity of feed available for their merino sheep and Hereford-Angus cross cattle.
“Fundamentally we want to farm in a better way so that our kids have got a viable business moving forward, and if you can look after your soil, it grows the grass for your livestock, it grows your crop for your grain, so you have to look after it,” Ruth said.
As newcomers to organic farming, they have joined ORICoop, a National Organic Producers Cooperative, that enables producers to build more resilient markets while enabling investment into supply chain barriers. Ruth and Ray have taken part in the ORCA project, which has received funding from Sustainable Table Fund, to understand the barriers for new and experienced organic grain producers across the Riverina, and to identify strategic pathways to a more transparent and profitable outcome for producers.
“I like the fact we can send grain down direct to the farmer, and you’re also dealing with another farmer on the buyer’s side who are also trying to have a sustainable business for their kids moving forward as well,” Ruth said.
“I really like what ORICoop and ORCA is looking to achieve, and we’ve already sent a few loads through the new process. From an organics producers’ mind, the feed market is such a big industry, and where do you start if you don’t have the contacts as a beginner? Through conversations and a workshop, I got in touch with Carolyn from ORICoop, and understood what ORICoop is trying to achieve through the ORCA project. This is a game changer especially for someone new coming into the market.”
Ruth and Ray live in a marginal area, so they need to be mindful of what they grow and when. And make the most of each market.
“We’ve been fully certified since 2021, last year’s crop for us was our first certified crop. We had a good growing season, above average rainfall. We are in a marginal area in central NSW you get more dry years than wet years, and last year was just unbelievable as far as the rain that fell, the rain continued when we were ready to harvest, there were a lot of downgrades,” Ruth said.
“We are open to trialing different crops should there be a market for specific crops that also align with seasonal conditions.’ Cereals, particularly wheat, oats and barley, are well-suited to our rotation. Our oats and barley are very easy to grow, and if you’ve got a failed crop you’ve got options, particularly when you are a mixed enterprise, you’ve got livestock to graze off or hay for either stockfeed or sale. Sunflowers would be on our radar if seasons permit, however with sunflowers they aren’t multi purpose they only have one purpose – sale. That’s why we’re just with the cereals at the moment, and we’re also new to the organic industry, we need to find our feet, establish a network and diversify our risk.
ORCA is also undertaking grain storage and processing potential for organic farmers in the Riverina region, which Ruth sees as being important to addressing some of the other key challenges organic grain and cereal producers face.
“The biggest downfall with being certified for us is grain storage, you have to have good grain storage, and it has been an achilles for us, so we have invested in on-farm storage this year. If ORCA are able to provide grain storage it would certainly help – we would still invest in further on-farm storage in due course, but instead of having the capital outlay of $200,000 to $300,000 in the short term, it gives producers the ability to keep growing and expanding or being able to capitalise on good seasonal conditions.” Ruth said.
“Definitely for us, the storage facility would encourage us to increase our certified country, knowing that we can then transport our certified grain to the storage site in southern NSW, it’s closer to the end market. The additional storage site would be of benefit to our business in the immediate future. If we were to diversify into other crops, like sunflowers, then the processing side would also be a big benefit to us. We also know other producers in the Riverina, where the processing side would be of benefit to them as opposed to the storage, so the combination of the two is fantastic.”
A key part of ORCA is transparency, ensuring consumers and buyers are getting high quality, ethically-grown products, as well as ensuring farmers receive fair pricing for their produce.
“The whole paddock to plate is incredibly important for the transparency of the industry, and it is just the way everything will go,” Ruth said.
“Our two big things are transparency, and understanding the story of the buyer, the feel-good warm fuzzy moment of knowing you’re selling to a mum-and-dad dairy farm that are trying to do the same as you, provide a cleaner product and future for your kids. Being able to understand the processor’s requirements and then being able to grow that grain, knowing you have a market for your product just makes good business sense.”
To enquire about bulk organic grain requirements you can contact ORCA directly or via email email@example.com
Story written by Amanda Sproule
The ORCA project is grateful for the seed funding from The Sustainable Table Fund.
With recent questions over the legitimacy of the Australian carbon offset scheme, it’s never been more important that carbon emissions are offset with legitimate credits and are free of greenwashing.
Unfortunately, few offerings in the market consider the natural environmental variables faced by the landowners generating the credits, and have the data transparency and accuracy required to inspire confidence that the investment is actually achieving its drawdown goal.
The farmer-owned credits are backed by extensive data collection and have been developed in accordance with the conditions, biodiversity and operations of each farm they’re provided by. Their transparency of data and the ability to directly purchase Eco-Credits from each farm means investors avoid the greenwashing associated with other carbon credit offerings.
ORICoop EO Carolyn Suggate said ‘All farms are assessed as to their suitability for the program, based on their existing farming practices, the area of the farm and the intentions of future management.’
“We don’t want producers to be at risk from any carbon credit program, to overstate their carbon drawdown, or to be exposed by a natural disaster or severe weather event should the carbon levels in their soil or biodiversity decrease,” Ms Suggate said.
These limits are a key part of the design- providing investor security, and lessening the risk of overstating any values, especially following farming challenges or natural disasters that can negatively impact soil carbon improvement efforts such as the extensive flooding occurring throughout NSW and QLD recently.
“Through a collective of the credits, ORICoop’s specialist advisory committee oversees each of the credit applications and validation reports. This includes assessing the management practices, the land management zones, the footprint of the farm business plus the soil testing and results. For each project we determine suitable buffers that enable producers to bank a portion of their credits – the credits are validated annually, and depending on buffer limits, a portion is liquidated at the producer’s discretion,” Ms Suggate said.
Each Eco-Credit represents 1 tonne of CO2 drawdown, in addition the credits represent measures each local organic producer has undertaken to actively improve soil carbon, water efficiency and biodiversity within their properties and farming practices.
“If it turns out that ACCU projects are not delivering contracted reductions, despite high costs of participation, that’s the worst of both worlds. Hopefully the regulator will improve market integrity, and not just by adding more layers of consultant reports,” Mr Coleman said.
“A simpler, more transparent certification process, with low verification costs, can also offer greater integrity. Certification gets done and reported in a way all users understand and accept. Voluntary Carbon Markets (VCM) should be designed with that in mind, which is what ORICoop has set out to achieve.”
Iain Smale, of Pangolin & Associates, said the Eco Credit will be popular for investors by providing other options for carbon credits which also offer a local impact, which is especially important given per-capita carbon emissions in Australia are amongst some of the highest in the world.
“With the Eco-Credit, you’re having a bigger environmental impact than just a carbon credit,” he said.
The environmental impact of our producer operations is key for Australian-owned organic dairy processor & manufacturer Paris Creek Farms. Paris Creek Farms’ Marketing & Communications Manager Alex Donovan said they are committed to increasing the sustainability of their operations, actively working with their producers to achieve this with Eco-Credits initially playing a vital part.
“With bio-dynamic and organic practices, we’re already using one of the most sustainable and regenerative methods of farming in the world, but we are striving to be even more sustainable. Our ultimate goal is to have our farmers generating their own Eco-Credits,” Ms Donovan said.
Ms Suggate said there are many ways the agriculture sector is transitioning beyond net-zero, and that collaboration to improve trust, legitimacy and the urgency for improving how sustainably we produce food is vital, especially after considering the ‘business as usual’ impact on the environment and the urgency of our changing climate as seen recently by some of the worst floods in history.
“We need science to be well funded to enable technology to be more accessible and trusted across the industry. This includes the measurement capability, satellite data, plus legitimate footprint data for farms across all commodities,” Ms Suggate said.
“In the meantime, our organic farming ORICoop members are dedicated to measuring and validating their soil tests and farm footprint. As their credits are validated, these producers form part of the organic farming ecosystem that invests into best practice, research and sustainability programs through a legitimate farmer-led carbon credit based on international guidelines,” she said.
“That includes soil carbon and biodiversity, rewarding producers for sustainable land stewardship practices, while offering these credits to businesses looking to offset their carbon footprint with legitimate credits that are traceable back to each farm that has generated them.”
If your business is committed to achieving net-zero, offset your carbon emissions directly with credits you can trust – register here now.