Carbon Farming

The future of Carbon Farming in the Netherlands

16 September 2021 - Published by Paula Nijman
The Dutch future of carbon farming starts in the Dutch province Zeeland. This was the scope of the field conference that took place Monday, May 31st at Proefboerderij De Rusthoeve in the village Colijnsplaats.

During the meeting, carbon farmers, policymakers, companies, ZLTO, and other stakeholders looked back on the steps that were taken with regard to carbon farming. Together they discussed the future of carbon farming. Special attention was given to the unique pilot projects that were initiated, in which carbon farmers are rewarded for their efforts regarding climate.


‘Our dream as ZLTO and other partners committed to the project, is to regard also potato farmers, union farmers, pear growers and dairy farmers as carbon farmers’, says ZLTO board member Joris Baecke. ‘By sequestrating more carbon into the soil, they work towards climate goals, the resilience of their soil, and the strengthening of the company’s earning potential.

During the conference, it was explained what financial, practical, and political means are necessary to make sequestrating of carbon farming possible. Beacke: ‘We are not yet done discovering the possibilities, although together with companies that stick out their necks we will make this a success. Companies like Zeeuwind, Deltawind and DKG. We invite other companies and governments to participate as well.’


It had been three years ago that the project carbon farming started. Internationally, different parties sook out how farmers can be of significance in offering their soils as a solution to lock up CO2 and what techniques they should apply to be able to. How can these techniques be measured and how could this ecosystem service be of value to companies in their direct surrounding? The first Dutch pilot was started in Zeeland last year.

Civilian cooperation’s Zeeuwind and Deltawind (from province Zuid-Holland) in Windpark Krammer where fifteen farmers sequestrate carbon farming for a rewarding. These farmers each wrote an individual plan and will sequester at least 2750 tonnes of CO2 in total in the coming five years. This cooperation offers the first experiences between farmers and companies in working towards a greater cause. If the pilot is successful, it can be extended or hopefully even expanded.


Different initiatives sprouted, amongst which the new pilot with DKG Keukens in Bergen op Zoom, a company also investing in farmers from their surroundings. The experiences that have been gained during those initiatives have led to a set of recommendations for policymakers. During the field conference, those recommendations were handed over to the deputy Jo-Annes de Bat.

In the meanwhile, carbon farming is an important theme internationally and also the European Union sets to work with carbon farming. It is not random that the policy recommendations coming forth out of this project will be handed over to the ministry of agriculture, nature, and fishery and to the European Commission.

Watch the conference online

You can watch the full conference through this link.