Sustainable Futures Carbon Bank

How do I sign up to receive certified carbon credits?

Register your interest by completing the Carbon Farm Sustainability Questionnaire by clicking Apply Now below. This helps us understand your farm and will identify if your current practices are eligible for the programme. You with our help would then fill out an online form to identify if the carbon capture Project is viable. This form would:
• Block the fields together that have a similar rotation and carbon capture activities.
• Put in the intended 5-year rotations.
• Put in the carbon capture and carbon safeguarding activities.
• Add the field boundaries of all the fields in the Project.

This could also be done by allowing the Team access to the farm data on GateKeeper or potentially other farm management systems.
Once this is complete the Carbon Bank Team will access the carbon sequestration potential of the Project ensuring it meets the minimum detectable levels of carbon.
If the Project meets these criteria, it will be processed into a full application to be sent to BCarbon for certification. If it falls short by a small amount, then the Climate Smart Farming Team will go back to the farmer and look at ways of improving the carbon capture potential.
If the Project falls well short of the minimal detectable level of carbon sequestration it will be rejected.
There is no cost to the farmer for any of this service.

What happens next?

The Project Application to BCarbon

Before an application can be made, the farmer will need to sign the 2 land management agreements.

If the farm is tenanted, then the landowner will need to be made aware of the intention of the farmer to be involved in the Programme.

Non – Inversion or Minimal Disturbance Agreement

To be high integrity certified carbon credits and to achieve the intended premiums for these credits, the CO2 removed from the atmosphere using the nature based solutions has to be held in the soil for a minimum of 10 years.

This simple agreement will need to be signed each year for each application ensuring the carbon sequestrated and sold as carbon credits remains securely in the soil.

Land Management Agreement

This 5 and a half year agreement outlines the services supplied by SF CarbonBank as the aggregator and supply chain facilitator. It outlines the farmers commitment to the programme and the land management protocols to be adopted.

The agreement also outlines the commercial agreement between SF CarbonBank and the farmer/ landowner.

The farmer will receive 70% of the value of the certified carbon credits sold. 30% of the value will remain with Climate Smart Farming to fund, soil sampling and soil carbon measurement, remote sensing, data capture and storage, supply chain facilitation and sales, and insurance.

There will be no other charges to the farmer.

To ensure there is always enough carbon to meet certified commitments, what is known as a “buffer” stock of 50% of the predicted carbon sequestrated will be held in reserve as soil data until the 5-year “truing up” process is undertaken. Some of this buffer will ensure the farm is carbon neutral if this is required by customers buying commodities from the farm

The data collected is sent to the independent certification body BCarbon, who will verify the estimates detailed in the application and convert into carbon credits which are then available to be sold.

How much money can I get each year?

Carbon is a commodity, the value of which will change each year depending on market conditions. Despite this, there are strong expectations that the price of these high integrity carbon credits will continue to increase as we move toward 2030 carbon reduction targets.

At the beginning of each year, the carbon credit price will be negotiated by the SF Carbon Bank and its customers. Due to the robustness of the SF CarbonBank methodology, focus on carbon removal and additional ecosystem benefits, credits generated are expected to achieve a premium over other emission-based or low integrity credits. This ensures you will receive the best possible price for your premium high integrity carbon credits, year on year.

How will the price of certified carbon credits be determined each year?

The FFSL team under the SF Carbon Bank brand manages the sale of the carbon credits. FFSL already has a number of customers looking to purchase these high integrity carbon credits as they become available. As with commodity equalisation programmes, farmers will receive the average price achieved for each batch minus a 30% management fee.

Are there specific farming systems I need to adopt to get carbon credits?

No, although, certain farming practices sequestrate more carbon into the soil than others. To optimise the potential carbon credits within a rotation the use of cover crops, catch crops, short term grass leys and companion crops, wherever possible, is very important as they will pull atmospheric carbon down into the soil. Under the scheme, farmers will need to initiate carbon capture practices as often as possible and at least 3 times in every 5 years to ensure threshold amounts of carbon capture are met.

The Sustainable Landscapes & Futures programmes will support farmers in maximising their carbon sequestration potential by sharing knowledge in farmer-to-farmer learning groups led by industry experts.  The addition of carbon safeguarding actions such as chopping straw, adding organic manures and biosolids will also help build soil organic carbon.

Ploughing or heavy tillage will remove carbon from the soil, and therefore cultivation within the programme is limited to minimal disturbance.

How much of my land can I put in the programme?

We are requesting a minimum of 40 Hectares (100 acres) of land parcels. You could register all of your land as part of the programme. However different soil types will sequestrate carbon at different rates, and different rotations will also impact on carbon sequestration potential.

What will this cost me?

Future Food Solutions through the Sustainable Futures Carbon Bank will charge a management fee of 30% to fund the rigorous soil sampling exercise required to satisfy the certification requirements. This fee will also cover data collection costs, ground truthing, remote sensing, insurance, assembling data into a certified carbon credit programme, facilitating the certification process and any other associated certification fees. This fee will be deducted from the value of the carbon credits sold. We believe in removing barriers to sustainable farming. This means there are no up-front costs, membership fees or monthly payments to be accounted for.

How does the buffer system work?

As the carbon credits are based on the predicted amount of carbon sequestrated, it is important to create a reserve in case the predicted carbon credits are not achieved.

After 5 years a follow-up soil sample will be taken from precisely the same location. The carbon levels will be measured using the same soil analysis. If the soil carbon after 5 years is equal to the predicted level, the buffer amount will be paid back to the farmer.

What happens if my farm sequestrates more carbon than predicted?

If the carbon level in the soil is higher than predicted, the buffer amount is paid back to your farm in full. Surplus carbon is credited to the farm’s carbon credit account and is made available for sale the following year.

What happens if my farm sequestrates more carbon than predicted?

If the soil level is higher than predicted the additional carbon will be certified. The surplus carbon will be credited to the farmer’s account and a proportion of this made available for sale the following year.

What happens if my farm does not sequestrate as much carbon as predicted?

If the soil carbon is less than predicted the buffer payment will be reduced to reflect the deficit. Soil carbon of less than 50% of the predicted levels, will impact future carbon sales. Any carbon deficit could be rolled over or offset against future carbon sequestration activities, with the deficit being made up in the next 12 months.

When my farm receives carbon credit certification, do the credits have to be sold through the Sustainable Futures Carbon Bank?

Yes, you will. The carbon credits are linked to the protocols and data collected by the SF Carbon Bank and the certified carbon credits can only be traded and redeemed through the CarbonBank. There are other carbon trading platforms, but these are likely to return a lower value, of carbon credit to the farmer. If you require carbon credits for use within your own business or associated business, it is possible to buy these back from FFSL minus the 30% cost of achieving them.

I rent the land I farm, who owns the carbon credits?

The carbon credits sit with the land, however, the amount of carbon in the soil is dependent on the rotation and the farming methods employed. Therefore, there will need to be a negotiation between the tenant and the landowner to agree on how much of the value goes to each. This arrangement is likely to impact rent and other future income streams.

If I sign up to the Sustainable Farming Incentives, Countryside Stewardship or other environmental schemes, will that affect my carbon credits?

No, following current guidance and consultation we are confident that you are able to stack benefits from both public schemes for regenerative practices and private incentives such as the SF CarbonBank. Upcoming schemes will help pay for regenerative farming techniques and cover the costs of practices such as cover crops, helping to complement the carbon credit programme. Going forward FFSL will look to further enhance the value of the carbon credits or create stand-alone credits for eco-system services such as improved biodiversity, flood attenuation and improved water quality.

Who will manage the process of getting certified carbon credits and how much will that cost?

The process will be managed by Future Food Solutions. FFSL will collect and hold all the data required by the certification body BCarbon and use the soil sampling data collected to create a baseline soil carbon. Using previous R&D and data collected over several years through the programme’s activities, and soil carbon modelling, FFSL can accurately predict potential carbon sequestration over 5 years. This will be presented to the accreditation board to receive interim certified carbon credits. FFSL will remotely monitor the fields and help validate the process.

How do you determine levels of carbon sequestrated?

The Future Food Solutions team will look at soil types, soil analysis, weather patterns, proposed rotations, farming practices and any other information available to calculate the potential for carbon sequestration in the soil.

Who is accrediting the carbon credits?

The carbon credits will be independently certified by BCarbon Inc, a not for profit company established by the Baker Institute, at Rice University Houston, Texas, USA. It is a well-regarded, high-profile institute with many global partners. BCarbon has been working in partnership with FFSL and the Sustainable Landscapes Programme to certify carbon sequestrated in soil.

Does my farm need to be carbon neutral to gain carbon credits?

It is likely that farmers will be expected to take care of their production emissions, to meet contract requirements or legislation. FFSL have built in, an on farm emissions element into the buffer reserve to offset your own production emissions.

As part of the Carbon Credit Programme, you will be encouraged to review your carbon emissions with the FFSL team currently developing practical ways to support this.

Where does the data sit and who has access to it?

The data will be held by FFSL and utilised to achieve accreditation from the Certification body BCarbon. The data relating to each certified Carbon Credit needs to be retained for the full ten-year Carbon storage period and will form part of the Carbon Credit Trading Register.

How do I leave the programme?

It is possible to leave the programme after the truing up in year 5 .  Leaving the programme before this point is possible but would mean that any outstanding credit payments would be foregone. Also all farms need to continue to meet the non-soil-disturbance criteria, which is a 10 year rolling agreement.

I have more questions, can I speak to someone at Future Food Solutions?

Yes, certainly. Visit our Contact page here for our contact details.