Nestle, Kellogg among companies forming biodiversity initiative

Nestle S.A., Kellogg Co. and Danone S.A. are among 19 companies that have partnered with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development to launch an initiative to protect and restore biodiversity within their supply chains and product portfolios. The coalition, called “One Planet Business for Biodiversity,” launched Sept. 23 at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York.

Also known as the OP2B, the initiative will focus on three pillars: scaling up regenerative agriculture practices, boosting cultivated biodiversity and diets through product portfolios, and eliminating deforestation/enhancing the management, restoration and protection of natural ecosystems.

“The global food and agricultural ecosystem is critically dependent on biodiversity: from soil regeneration through to water filtration, pest control and pollination, among many of the other building blocks of life on earth,” said Emmanuel Faber, chairman and chief executive officer of Paris-based Danone. “According to many recent scientific studies, we have 10 years to reset our course and bend the curve on climate change and wild and cultivated biodiversity loss. We need a collective effort now.”

Other OP2B members are Balbo Group, Barry Callebaut, Firmenich, Google, Jacobs Douwe Egberts, Kering, Livelihood Funds, L’Oreal, Loblaw Cos. Ltd., Mars, Inc., Migros Ticaret, McCain Foods, Royal DSM, Symrise AG, Unilever and Yara International ASA. The 19 companies sell products in more than 120 countries and have combined total revenues of about $500 billion.

Read the full story here: https://www.foodbusinessnews.net/articles/14556-nestle-kellogg-among-companies-forming-biodiversity-initiative

ESMC PRESS RELEASE

ESMC Finds Potential Demand for Ecosystem Market Credits Approaches $14 Billion
Potential purchases of U.S. ecosystem credits from agriculture could be as high as $13.9 billion according to an IHS Markit economic assessment released today by the Ecosystem Services Market Consortium (ESMC). The study sought to determine the extent of market demand for credits that American farmers and ranchers can generate through establishing and maintaining conservation practices that provide quantified ecosystem benefits. The Economic Assessment was released at the September 24 Farm Foundation Forum on “Incentivizing Conservation Agriculture.”

“The Informa assessment confirms ESMC’s conviction that there is substantial demand for ecosystem services from farmers and ranchers. ESMC is building a voluntary market to monetize those outcomes for producers, using science-based approaches to increase and measure soil organic carbon, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improve water quality and water use efficiency,” said ESMC Executive Director Debbie Reed. “This study demonstrates conclusively the demand for the ecosystems services marketplace ESMC will launch in 2022. Through the ESMC marketplace, farmers and ranchers will receive payments for the environmental benefits they provide, and corporate and public entities will be able purchase credits to meet their sustainability goals.”  Read the full press release here.

Report Analyzes Farm Bill Impact on Soil Health

The Soil Health Institute (SHI) and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) today released the Impact of 2018 Farm Bill Provisions on Soil Health, a comprehensive review of each new provision and its role in advancing soil health, the foundation for regenerative and sustainable agriculture. The report also compares funding for soil health in the 2014 and 2018 Farm Bills.

The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (i.e., 2018 Farm Bill) includes multiple changes to existing programs. New provisions provide additional incentives to farmers and ranchers to implement soil health-promoting practices such as cover crops and crop rotations. The 2018 Farm Bill also includes mandates for data collection and reporting on soil health, along with enhancements that provide soil health support for beginning, socially disadvantaged, and veteran farmers and ranchers.

“Several additions have significant potential to benefit soil health,” noted Dr. Wayne Honeycutt, SHI President and CEO.  “Soil health has been designated as a priority in managing the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).  More soil health field trials and demonstrations are also supported, both of which are important for increasing adoption.  Changes to the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) make it more likely that landowners will continue to improve soil health after their CRP contract ends.”

“The report provides a detailed summary of almost 60 provisions that may affect soil health,” said Mr. Ferd Hoefner, NSAC Senior Strategic Advisor.  “It will be a valuable time saver for those who wish to gain information quickly.  For example, the report provides a brief description of each provision, how it impacts soil health, and links to the respective USDA agency responsible for implementing that provision.  In addition, authorized funding levels for the 2014 and 2018 Farm Bills are compared for several programs in the Conservation, Research, and Forestry titles.”

The report was a joint collaboration authored by Ms. Katie Harrigan of the Soil Health Institute and Ms. Alyssa Charney of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.

For further information, visit https://soilhealthinstitute.org/resources/catalog/#farmbill.

Farmers are adopting regenerative ag practices, but who’s leading the movement?

“The Soil Health Institute recently released a report describing adoption rates for regenerative agriculture practices like no-till drilling and cover cropping using data from the 2017 Census of Agriculture. The team compared the data to information obtained about regenerative agriculture practices in the 2012 Census of Agriculture.

““There has been a 50% increase in cover crop acreage between 2012 and 2017, from 10.3 million acres to 15.4 million acres. Once farmers started adopting these practices, they expanded the practices to more acres,” Sara Eckhouse, executive director of FoodShot Global, told AFN. Soil Health Institute is one of FoodShot’s partners and the duo worked together on FoodShot’s Soil 3.0 Challenge.

“The data is inspiring for Eckhouse and other soil health enthusiasts, as well as helpful when it comes to figuring out where the nascent regenerative agriculture movement needs to head. FoodShot’s lengthy list of prestigious partners includes Rabobank, Rockefeller Foundation, Walton Family Foundation, Stone Barns Center for Food and Innovation, Builders’ Initiative, Armonia, alongside a number of venture funds and NGOs. This provides Eckhouse and her team with a powerful network of people who can make real, meaningful change when it comes to bringing regenerative agriculture from the academic realm to actual farmland.”

Read the full story here: https://agfundernews.com/farmers-are-adopting-regenerative-ag-practices-but-whos-leading-the-movement.html

Nominations open for ESMRC Science Advisors

The Ecosystem Services Market Research Consortium (ESMRC) seeks nominations to form an inaugural team of science advisors to participate in ESMRC Working Groups. ESMRC Working Groups will provide expert insight and advice on the ESMRC research and demonstration agenda and activities to develop advanced ecosystem services markets for agriculture.

The submission deadline for nominations of working group science advisors is Friday 13 September 2019. Please click here to access the ESMRC Call for Nominations For Working Group Science Advisors; an ESMRC Working Group Science Advisor Nomination Form; a Bio-sketch form; and additional information on ESMRC Working Groups.