Carbon Standards in Agriculture and Food Trade

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At the Hague conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change, Farming First held a side event ‘Best practices in agricultural value chains’, where spokespeople presented examples of initiatives that aim to increase resilience and productivity at different points in the value chain.

Carbon standards

Thom Achterbosch from the International Food & Agricultural Trade Policy Council spoke about agriculture’s potential for mitigation of GHGs, for which the private sector, and the government, had roles to play. Carbon standards measure the life-cycle impacts of consumer products and particularly their GHG emissions. The data is then run through assessment models, to generate an estimated “carbon footprint”, which is usually expressed in grms of CO2-equivalent per functional unit (kg etc) of the product. By enabling producers to measure and monitor their emissions, carbon standards encourage GHG emissions reductions, and facilitate reducing carbon hotspots in the value chain.

Currently several methodologies exist to calculate GHG effects – national standards, supermarket standards, private voluntary standards and industry standards. There is a need to balance opportunites of carbon footprinting with many challenges: food security, open rade system, shared benefits in value chains.

To read more, see the presentation.

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