ADM Agriculture launches grain carbon footprint scheme to improve raw material sustainability

ADM Agriculture is to launch a contract with farmer suppliers to gather carbon footprint data to increase the sustainability of raw materials entering parent company ADM’s supply chain.
calendar icon 3 July 2021
clock icon 5 minute read

The scheme, which is backed by ADM’s UK processing companies, follows ADM’s recent membership of the Cool Farm Alliance. It uses the platform’s Cool Farm Tool to partner with farmers to better understand and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions across ADM’s global supply chain.

The Cool Farm Tool simplifies the calculation of a crop’s carbon footprint by providing an easy-to-use online assessment that farmers can complete in 10 to 15 minutes. By entering data such as crop type, soil characteristics, fertiliser use, irrigation and transport, among others, the science-based digital tool provides detailed information on the types and sources of greenhouse gas emissions across the growing process.

Ana Yaluff, ADM’s EMEAI sustainability manager, said: “The Cool Farm Tool offers us a widely used resource in the industry that is based on a standardised methodology to pinpoint where the majority of greenhouse gasses are being emitted at the farm level.

“Becoming a member of the alliance allows us to collaborate with our suppliers to offer the use of this tool to farmers in our supply chain free of charge. Together, we will track progress and analyse the impact of agricultural practices to enhance sustainability.”

Jonathan Lane, head of grain trading at ADM Agriculture in the UK, and his team will be one of the first ADM companies in the world to start using the tool.

Mr Lane said: “We are acutely aware of the need to understand the amount of carbon used in the production of raw materials. If we can gain a better understanding of that, it will help us move the dial closer to zero carbon production and in doing so derive tangible value for those able to demonstrate lower emission production.

“We are delighted to be able to use the Cool Farm Tool as a way of working with our farmer customers to understand what they are doing and turn that into numbers that we can measure and improve over time.”

The team plans to work with growers over a period of three to five years to capture data and evaluate improvements in greenhouse gas emissions, and will expanding the programme with more growers over time.

The supply chain initiative aims to engage farmers and make them part of the partnership by providing them with contracts backed by ADM Milling and price security to better manage risk.

As a major merchandiser of sustainable crops, engaging with growers is an important part of how ADM works to reduce environmental impact and promote sustainable agricultural practices.

Ms Yaluff said: “As we expand the use of the Cool Farm Tool across our supply chain, the solutions to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions will depend on many factors, including local practices and resources that are available, and will most likely require multiple approaches that can be tailored to the needs of the farms.

“Knowing where to focus efforts to enhance our carbon footprint will not only reduce environmental impact, but it will help us support farmers with improved market access and respond to the growing demand for sustainable products from our customers.”

Laurence Williams

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