And we’re not being alarmist here: in Asia, rice fields are being flooded with saltwater; cyclones have wiped out vanilla crops in Madagascar; in Central America higher temperatures ripen coffee too quickly; drought in sub–Saharan Africa is withering chickpea crops; and rising ocean acidity is killing oysters and scallops in American waters.
According to the UN, we lose 24 billion tons of fertile land annually through soil erosion. That equates to an area nearly the size of England, and it means we will only have 60 years of topsoil left if we continue modern industrial farming practices.
We urgently need to start building resilience into our supply chains and regenerative agriculture promises just that. Building soil health will ensure we are prepared for climatic shocks and that we can bounce back quicker when the food system inevitably experiences extreme stress. Healthy soil captures carbon, boosts biodiversity, increases water storage capacity, and sustains nutrient availability – all are absolutely essential for food, fuel and fibre production. There’s a way to start building this resilience today, and it’s known as carbon insetting.
What is Carbon Insetting?
Carbon insetting is the new offsetting; a long-term approach to systemic change. It is the most powerful means for a company to address its emissions. It involves developing carbon sequestration projects within the company’s own value chain and incentivising change from within. For companies who procure from farmers, regenerative farming presents an exciting opportunity. They can become impact partners and regenerate supply chains, together.
What are the Benefits?
- Companies investing in regenerative agriculture through their supply chain are future-proofing their business and reducing the risk of not being able to source raw materials into the future.
- Companies incentivising their farmers shares the financial risk of adopting something new and ensures more sustainable growing methods can be trialled and adjusted for specific soil types and climatic conditions. This partnership of trust and support serves to strengthen their own supply relationship.
- Any nutritional gains made by the farmer from their healthier soils will be used in the products of the purchasing company – this is particularly relevant for the food industry.
- Finally, decarbonising through the supply chain protects companies from the increasing price of carbon and costly offsetting projects as well as any future carbon tax. It’s time to get ahead of that curve.
We envision more companies who have direct relationships with their farmers (predominantly the food, beauty and textile industry) will begin investing in them transitioning to regenerative agriculture. This not only bodes well for our soil and surrounding farming ecosystems but also for the quality of the products we consume.
In time, regenerative farming will become the new norm as farmers realise the benefits of managing healthy fertile soils with reduced input costs and favourable premiums on their crops. Suppliers and buyers will play a critical role in accelerating this transition through insetting projects.
Want to know more about how Soil Heroes can support you with a future insetting partnership? You can get in touch with Tom, our Business Development Manager using the link below.
Want to learn more about our insetting partnerships?
Business Development, UK
Let’s talk about Regenerative Agriculture
You know you’ll dig it too.