- Companies to work together with farmers in Sachsen-Anhalt and northern Thüringen
- Farmers can benefit from enriching their soil, improved farm resilience and profitability
- Opportunity to also benefit from the first verified agriculture carbon credits in Europe
Basel - Indigo Agriculture, a company dedicated to harnessing nature to help farmers sustainably feed the planet, and Beiselen, one of Germany’s leading family-owned agriculture trade businesses committed to transforming agriculture, have formed a new partnership in response to the growing interest in carbon farming. In doing so, the two companies will work with farmers in Sachsen-Anhalt and northern Thüringen and offer them the opportunity to participate in a pilot of the Indigo Carbon program on their farm in 2021. These farmers will adopt practices designed to enrich their soil and improve farm resilience and profitability as well as creating an opportunity to benefit from the first verified agriculture carbon credits issued in Europe.
The Indigo Carbon program will be the first of its kind in Europe to use a new Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) methodology released by Verra. This methodology quantifies greenhouse gas emission reductions and enhanced soil organic carbon storage resulting from the adoption of regenerative agricultural land management practices by farmers. These include crop rotations, cover crops, and the reduced use of tillage and fertilizers. Following the VCS methodology ensures the integrity of any carbon credit generated through the adoption of these practices. This is already attracting companies like Barclays, IBM, and JP Morgan who have become the first to invest in verified agriculture carbon credits.
Farmers who meet the qualifying criteria will join the program for an initial 5-years commitment. The pace and extent to which farmers change their agriculture management practices will determine the amount of emission reduction and increase in soil organic carbon. In turn, this will determine how many carbon credits can be generated by the farmer.
These carbon farming friendly practices may also be included in the proposed eco-schemes in the reformed Common Agriculture Policy. This could be an additional benefit for farmers participating in the Indigo Carbon program from 2023 onwards.
Starting with the spring crop season, Indigo and Beiselen will work together to bring selected farmers into the pilot program. The areas of Sachsen-Anhalt and northern Thüringen have been chosen because the agronomic conditions appear well suited to the program and the willingness of farmers to adopt and sustain new regenerative agriculture practices. Beiselen will be specifically responsible for the promotion of the program, farmer qualification and enrollment. The company will also provide support to participating farmers in implementing the practice changes as well as collecting relevant farm management data and evidence on an annual basis.
Georg Goeres, Head of Indigo Agriculture in Europe, said: “Interest and demand for carbon farming has increased markedly over the past year and Beiselen shares our belief that it can help to transform agriculture in a way that is even more beneficial to people and the planet. By working together with Beiselen, we will leverage each other’s unique capabilities and learn how to best implement the Indigo Carbon program in Germany, and beyond, that will maximize the opportunity for farmers to realize the valuable economic and environmental benefits of carbon farming.
This approach also reflects our intent to work wherever possible with leading national players and marks another significant step in the development of our Indigo Carbon program in Europe, which, we believe, is unique in its use of such a robust greenhouse gas accounting standard.”
Fritz Schuler, shareholder of the family-owned company and jointly responsible for Strategic Projects at Beiselen, said: “The co-operation with Indigo offers Beiselen a great opportunity to take a leading role in compensating growers for carbon reductions and removals in Germany. The agricultural sector is currently experiencing a transformation and solutions are needed for a productive as well as sustainable food production. Indigo Carbon is a future oriented program that simultaneously addresses the ecological and economic priorities for agriculture. We strongly believe that our high level of engagement and trust with growers and the pioneering solution of Indigo Carbon will complement each other perfectly.”
About Indigo Agriculture
Indigo Ag improves grower profitability, environmental sustainability, and consumer health through the use of natural microbiology and digital technologies. The company’s scientific discoveries and digital platforms benefit stakeholders across the agricultural ecosystem, including tens of thousands of growers across millions of acres. Working across the supply chain, Indigo Ag is furthering its mission of harnessing nature to help farmers sustainably feed the planet. In 2019, the company launched Indigo Carbon – a scientifically backed program that provides growers with a new revenue stream in the form of verified agricultural carbon credits. Indigo Ag is headquartered in Boston, MA, with additional offices in Memphis, TN; Research Triangle Park, NC; Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Basel, Switzerland with operations in Germany, Hungary, Ukraine and Turkey.
Beiselen GmbH is Germany’s leading private agricultural wholesaler. In response to structural circumstances, Beiselen serves its customers with regionally adapted models and handles the entire variety which features in a full cycle of productive and sustainable agriculture: from seeds to marketing of agricultural products for conventional as well as organic farming. And, in this context, the service offer ranging from financing to consultancy, logistics support to digital solutions, is as wide and varied as the range of products. The company generates turnover of approximately €1.3 billion per annum and employs over 700 persons at 26 locations. Beiselen is a family business which is run by managing partners Rainer Schuler and Magnus Schuler, as well as by Martin Jäger.
Background information regarding the Verra VCS-Program can be found here.