Bayer Launches A Decarbonization Program For European Agriculture

Monheim, June 29, 2021A Bayer global initiative to combat carbon dioxide was launched today in Europe. For a more resilient and sustainable food system, the main goal is decarbonizing the food value chain. In addition, defining how farmers reducing greenhouse gas emissions will be rewarded is an important part of the Green Deal project under the Green Growth Initiative of the European Commission. 

In order to achieve concrete results in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the field by 30% by 2030, Bayer has launched the European Carbon Program to recognize the crucial role growers and landowners can play.

“Our Carbon Program actively contributes to the development of carbon farming activities in Europe by working directly with farmers in their role as primary producers and involving companies throughout the food value chain. This collaboration at a food value chain level will help decarbonize the European food system in a way that works for farmers, the environment, and consumers,” said Lionnel Alexandre, Carbon Business Venture Lead for Europe, Middle East, and Africa at Bayer Crop Science. 

“The main idea is to reward growers for adopting climate-smart farming practices like using cover crops, tillage reduction, crop rotations, and precision nitrogen application. These activities sequester carbon in the soil while improving soil health, resilience, and productivity as well as limit emissions”, he said.

This will be made possible by a digital tool that Bayer will create that will enable farmers to claim rewards based on accurate and verified data. Each farmer will be able to easily and reliably use it because it will comply with current data privacy standards. 

Moreover, climate FieldViewTM, Bayer’s industry-leading platform for digital farming, is now being integrated into Bayer’s Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) solution.

About 500 hectares of land from the farms of 27 farmers in seven countries are being donated, including Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Belgium, Denmark, and the Netherlands. 

As a core element of the European Carbon Program, farmers collaborate with Bayer experts, food value chain players, and Bayer experts in a lab setting where they can test activities and generate learnings. As part of the Carbon Program, several food processors and retailers are expected to sign by year’s end.

To achieve climate-smart farming practices, farmers will use cover crops and reduce tillage after mapping the carbon content on their lands as the baseline on which the project will be evaluated. A continuous improvement process will be conducted to monitor and improve the implementation of these new practices. 

Participants in the project across the food value chain will contribute new insights and lessons learned that will be incorporated into the development of a reliable and accurate digital MRV tool. Climate FieldViewTM will be implemented within the third year of the program, which is expected to deliver the new digital solution within three years.

“An intact soil structure and organic matter soil management are decisive for securing my income”, said Stefanie Peters, Agro-Farm GmbH Nauen and part of the Bayer ForwardFarm network. “In my opinion, carbon farming, the sequestration of carbon in the soil, can make a great contribution to this. I am also looking forward to working with a variety of partners within Bayer’s carbon program.”

A Global Carbon Initiative will be launched in the U.S. and Brazil in July 2020 as part of the company’s European launch. It is the only agricultural company in these countries that offers all these technologies, including grain and trait varieties, crop protection and digital solutions, cost-effective MRV, and certification to internationally recognized standards.

“Our vision is that in the future, retailers and food processors, as well as their partner farms from their specific supply chains, will be able to collaborate on effective carbon emission reduction projects with confidence,” said Alex Teillet, Head of New Business Models at Bayer Crop Science. “At the same time, farmers should receive transparent and equitable rewards in return for the reduction of carbon emissions resulting from their farming practices throughout the world in a transparent and fair manner.”

Bayer’s latest efforts to decarbonize Europe’s food system include the European Carbon Program launch. As part of the EU Carbon + Farming Coalition, the company is striving to design decarbonization solutions specifically targeted to farmers and the Food System. 

As part of the coalition, the European Commission will receive a set of recommendations that address how to develop EU policies to facilitate the adoption of climate-smart solutions at scale.

About Bayer

In the field of healthcare and nutrition, Bayer is a leading global enterprise. Through its products and services, the company aims to reduce global warming’s impact on people and the planet while addressing the major challenges arising from an aging and growing global population. With its businesses, Bayer is dedicated to generating a positive impact while driving sustainable development.

Source: Bayer

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