Sustainable farms and forests


by admin November 28th, 2022

Sustainable farms and forests

With increased interest of consumers and companies to follow best environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices, Canadian farmers are responding by contributing to better food security and implementing actions to reduce climate change threats.  As a matter of fact, by applying sustainable farming practices, Canadian farmers can also improve their access to international food buyers and retail chain and monetize their carbon reduction programs.Canadian Farming and Food security

Safe and sustainable crop management, for example by using less pesticides and implement regular crop changes, is at the heart of food security. In order to ensure safe and sustainable agricultural solutions, the GLOBAL G.A.P. certification has been created, an internationally recognized standard for farm production.

This certification covers:

– Food safety and traceability

– Environment (including biodiversity)

– Workers’ health, safety and welfare

– Animal welfare, and includes

– Integrated Crop Management (ICM), Integrated Pest Control (IPC), Quality Management System (QMS), and the food management system HACCP.

Farmers certified by Global G.A.P. standards do not only contribute to their sustainability objectives on a daily basis. G.A.P. certification has also become a prerequisite for fresh produce to be listed with major retail chains across North America and Europe and ensures the continued access to important international buyers.

Canadian Farming and Climate Change

The Cop27 conference held in November 2022 in Egypt has repeated the importance of sustainable agriculture and forest management practices to contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, with the overall objective of reducing temperatures by 1.5 degrees. In fact, responsible farm management represents a tremendous opportunity to reduce methane, by introducing new methods of soil management, as well as fostering biodiversity of plants and insects through targeted initiatives.

One possibility for farmers to address climate change concerns is through carbon sequestration programs. The idea is to implement practices to regenerate the soil so that it will absorb more CO2-emissions. The result of these programs is the reduction of greenhouse gases that can be sold then through carbon credit vouchers to offset carbon emissions by manufacturers.

Carbon Credits issued by Farmers – the Canadian Model

Since the beginning of 2022, large companies have been able to offset their emissions either by means of paying a carbon tax or by purchasing certificates (carbon credits) from companies that have reduced their emissions.

In Canada, farmers also have the option of selling their emissions reductions within their own value chain (insetting) – for example by selling their farmers’ credits to food manufacturers such as Danone.

In fact, “carbon insets ensure that manufacturers take direct responsibility for the emissions in their own supply chain. The insetting credits also aid in improving sustainable management practices directly at the source, with the farmer. The focus of carbon offsets is on the tonnes of carbon avoided/removed, while the focus of carbon insets is creating carbon emission reduction capacity.”(Sourec: Carboncredits.com)

Inset credits follow the price trend of offset credits, which are expected to rise to $170/ton in 2030, according to Cleantechnica. Offsetting credits from farmers would be sold to companies outside their own value chain.

Since the certification process for insetting is simpler and faster than that for offsetting, this approach is privileged by most Canadian farmers.

 

FIAN’s Sustainability Engagement

Our management philosophy seeks robust returns by applying best environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals. Acting with integrity towards our staff, clients, farmers and communities is the leitmotif of our farm management and forest management services:

  1. Our farmland operators are invited to follow Global G.A.P. standard and practices to ensure safe and sustainable crop management.
  2. All our farming partners are now participating in specific carbon sequestration programs, certifying the reduction of greenhouse gases. Once certified, they will be also able to sell carbon credits in the future.
  3. Sustainable forest management: We make sure that our forest managers are applying sustainable standards during their operations on private grounds and that they follow good practices imposed by regulations for public land, where reforestation is mandatory.
  4. Biodiversity: Our farmers and foresters make significant efforts to remediate the important decline in wildlife and plant diversity reported in the WWF’s 2022 Living Planet Report. Seeding of land with wildflowers, sustainable logging and replanting of forests with a diversity of native trees as well as continued efforts to implement regenerative agriculture are part of the solution to increase wildlife and plant diversity.

Our Vision for Sustainability

Our vision for sustainability is reflected in the day-to-day operations of our farmers and foresters caring about a regenerative approach to farming & food as well as wild life & plants.

 

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