Our commitment to sustainability
In recent months we’re becoming more aware of the shift in our industry to learn more about carbon neutrality, key influencers in this market are starting to commit to carbon neutral goals, RELX (our parent company) have just announced they have signed The Climate Pledge to be Net Zero by 2040 too. Here at Proagrica we are starting to explore this subject and identify ways we can both educate and support our customers.
Scott Millar, Regional Sales Manager for Farmplan solutions, and Alistair Knott, Precision Agriculture Development Director have been taking time out to explore this.
Scott says, “We’ve been reviewing carbon calculators and investigating what carbon neutral really means, and specifically what this means for the farming sector and our customers.”
“Even in these early days, we’re realising that Farmplan software could hold the key to unlocking record keeping and analysis capabilities for farmers.”
Alistair adds, “There is a significant opportunity here for Proagrica to add value for our customers across all tiers and in different regions too, as both carbon reduction and sustainable production initiatives have future impacts across our supply chain from farm to distribution to manufacturer to processors and food producers. It is also possible that companies outside our normal sphere of influence will become our focus as they look to offset their carbon footprint where they can’t meet their net-zero carbon requirements internally. We continue to actively explore how best we can optimise our ag and enterprise solutions to support the industry, as collaboration will be essential.”
What are we doing to support this commitment?
Farmers Weekly Transition Project
We have recently signed up to the Farmers Weekly led Transition Project which aims to drive awareness of the ways and means available to UK farmers in order to become more sustainable as BPS (Basic Payment Scheme) becomes a thing of the past. Project research suggests that many farmers believe their farm is not sustainable in its current form, and actually of those who responded to the survey, around 78% were concerned about replacing the lost income.
“In future, government support for agriculture will require farmers to undertake an increasing amount of environmental work: improving soil health, air and water quality and storing carbon to help mitigate the impact of climate change.
All this means growers and livestock producers must refocus their farm businesses to generate a bigger return from the marketplace – optimising enterprise performance to ensure they remain viable and thrive while looking after the environment.” Johann Tasker, Transition Reporter FW.
We are part of the Steering Group for this project and our commitment demonstrates our resolve to continue to learn and identify ways we can work smarter to support our farming community.
Alistair adds, “Our drive to connect with all key players who are serving this developing arena includes Trinity AgTech to whom we supply permissioned Gatekeeper grower data electronically via our Agility platform. The Transition project team have just announced that Trinity AgTech will provide sustainability assessment and benchmarking support to the Transition project, so it’s great that we are already connected.”
Scott adds, “Part of our project right now is also engaging with an organisation called Sustainable Landscapes, based in Yorkshire, they focus on improving water and soil quality and work in conjunction with Yorkshire Water. Their remit is to evaluate how improvements to soil quality can help improve water management. Farmplan software can certainly help with the record keeping requirements of this approach. This provides an opportunity for us to engage with farmers here in the UK and work with them to manage their carbon.”
Did you know by improving the soil organic matter by 1% per acre it can increase the soils capacity for holding water by up to 240t on that acre.
There’s really two approaches here. Additionality which simple means adding cover crops or changing the way you do something to make a difference or just looking after what you already have. Both approaches have merit and differing costs associated with them. The gain in terms of carbon offsetting though, can be significant but work still needs to be completed to create a framework of national standards and protocols so a clear understanding of the benefits can be proven.
Find out more about the Sustainable Landscapes Project here >>
Cool Farm Alliance
Many of you may not know that Proagrica is already a member of the Cool Farm Alliance, whose mission is to enable growers globally to make informed on-farm decisions that reduce their environmental impact.