Last year Bles Dairies Farm has taken the initiative to contribute to targeting the climate goals: a reduction of 50% GHG emissions by 2030 (Paris Agreement). An increasing part of our society accuses especially the dairy and beef farmer being the main cause of climate change. Partly they are right. Cows produce methane gas and methane (CH4) has a quite strong effect in warming the planet. On the other hand, ruminants eat grass and those grass producing permanent grasslands capture CO2. With feed additives and genetics methane production can be limited by 30-50%. This shows that farmers have tools enabling a positive impact on global warming.
As an individual farmer it is almost impossible to make the change, but as a collective we believe we can be much stronger. We therefore took the initiative to set up a farmer’s cooperative with the name Carbon Coop. This cooperative is founded by a group of both dairy farmers and arable farmers.
Reducing the carbon footprint
Carbon Coop want to achieve a future proof sustainable farming model by making efforts to a significant reduction of the carbon footprint. This is only sustainable when the farmer gets rewarded for their efforts.
Therefore the cooperative purpose is to develop a model for additional farmers income based on CO2 sequestration and reduction of CO2 (GHG) emissions. The regional cooperation between dairy and arable farming leads to lowering the carbon footprint of food products. The global goals regarding the reduction of GHG emissions have led to the creation of a financial value of this effort made by the primary sector. The CO2 sequestration and reduction can be transformed into so called carbon certificates. These certificates could be purchased preferably by players in the agrifood value chain. The buyers of those certificates reward the farmers for their effort but cannot claim their sequestration or reduction. That remains attributed to the farms.
All together CO2 sequestration and reduction is an additional revenue model for the farmer.
The members of Carbon Coop are farmers who apply progressive agriculture practices. By using those innovative methods, they become more efficient and work based on principles of regenerative agriculture. The cooperation of dairy farmers and arable farmers is essential and contributes to circularity by processing residual products, producing protein from their own land, producing bio based crops for the building industry, causing less transportation, raw materials of concentrates from the region, local application of fertilizers, etc.
All Carbon Coop members also commit to other pragmatic production-related values such as high animal welfare, active landscape management and connection with society.
Carbon Coop stands for a future-proof agriculture, transcendent to and no matter what of production. Primary food production causes CO2 emissions and land-based production is capable of sequestering CO2. Carbon Coop aims to be net zero or even negative. In this way, their member-farmers contribute significantly to becoming more sustainable and therefore to preserving the licence to produce in the Netherlands and beyond.
Bles Dairies’ ambition is to utilize the know how we built up in The Netherlands towards regenerative agriculture resulting in a positive impact on climate change embedded in all our projects around the world.