Carbon Farming

Flemish farmers union and Soil Service of Belgium collaborate with CO2 platform Claire

24 September 2021 - Published by Paula Nijman
The first Flemish platform where carbon sequestration in agricultural soils will be valorized by local firms the want to compensate for their own climate impact.

The collaboration between Claire, Boerenbond (farmers union) and Bodemkundige Dienst van België (Soil Service) (BDB) is a scoop. Never before in Flanders farmers were compensated for the climate efforts they made. Working together with three partners in the past few months for a suitable method and cooperation, gave the farmers the possibility to offer their services via a platform.

The consequences of climate change are more obvious than ever. Society and the business world are conscious about their task in reaching a climate-neutral society. Many steps have to be taken in order to reach this. Carbon farming through agricultural soils can be a piece of the puzzle. We can speak of a unique service that almost only farmers can offer, namely to sequester atmospheric CO2 in their soils. By sequestering CO2 into their soils, through crops and supply of plant material, the emission of greenhouse gases can be decreased and the land-bound agricultural sector can contribute to counter climate change. Moreover, carbon sequestration contributes to better soil quality on agricultural grounds.

What is Claire?

Claire stands for ‘clean air’ and aims for local climate neutrality. They bring together companies that want to compensate for their Co2-emission with parties that want to reduce, avoid or even sequester CO2 emissions. One of the sectors that projects can offer is the agricultural sector. “We all were conscious about the fact that we need to speed up the reduction of CO2 emission, says Joris of Caire. Colleague Johanna quickly came with the additional idea to ‘work on something that the whole society benefits of; the private sector, schools, youth associations, farmers, nature…’

Pilot project

In 2021 it was decided to work with a private group of farmers to test the system in practice and refine the system so it is ready to scale up for more farmers and companies. The project plans of farmers are being designed and in the fall the first contacts between farmers and companies will be signed by Claire. “We are looking forward to introducing the participating farmers!”

“It took a lot of thinking and analysis to come up with this system”, says Annemie Elsen from BDB, “and we are more than happy that farmers can be compensated for the efforts they deliver to society. We always put upfront soil quality and now finally there is a framework to stimulate good soil management.” “Moreover, farmers are getting acquainted and get the chance to show their efforts.”, says Patrick Meulemeester of Boerenbond. “This is how the agricultural sector can be put in a positive light.