Cargill Introduces Sustainable Agriculture Program for Australian Canola Growers

Canola grower speaks with Cargill employee in canola field

(Credit: Cargill)

by | Feb 13, 2024

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Cargill is launching a new program meant to support Australian canola growers adopt sustainable agricultural practices.

Cargill SustainConnect aims to provide financial incentives for farmers working to adopt sustainable growing practices, such as improving soil health and working to decarbonize operations. Cargill completed a successful pilot of the program in 2023 and will now expand to serve more local canola farmers in Australia.

Farmers that join the program may choose from a variety of regenerative agricultural practices, such as nutrient management interventions, reduced tillage, or crop residue retention, and environmental outcomes of these practices will be tracked and verified by carbon measurement business, Regrow.

“Agriculture has a unique opportunity to utilize sustainable agricultural practices to address the global climate challenge and better the economic prospects for farmers, who are at the forefront of our food system,” said Ben Fargher, environmental market lead of the Asia-Pacific region at Cargill. “We are actively working hand-in-hand with canola growers to lead the way, supporting them with tools, resources — and importantly, market access — to make the shift to sustainable agriculture.”

More Companies Compensate Growers for Sustainable Farming

As part of the SustainConnect program, growers will receive $25 per hectare of land enrolled, subject to practices implemented on the land. Cargill will also benefit from the program by helping its downstream customers achieve supply chain sustainability goals. The company plans to expand the SustainConnect program to grains in the future and is currently conducting pilots within the barley-growing sector.

Many companies that rely on agricultural supply chains have been investing in sustainable farming practices as a method to decarbonize overall operations and to allow farmers access to carbon markets. For example, last year, Walmart and General Mills made a joint commitment to adopt regenerative agricultural practices on 600,000 acres of United States farmland, the original source of many of the companies’ products.

Connecting farmers to carbon markets is another option companies are increasingly adopting to decarbonize agricultural supply chains. For instance, ReSeed has partnered with various companies, allowing cacao farmers in Brazil to financially benefit from adopting regenerative practices while providing high-quality carbon credits for companies working towards net-zero operations.

As the agricultural sector works to decarbonize, helping growers front costs associated with regenerative agriculture may help farmers more quickly and effectively switch to sustainable practices.

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