A day at TechBBQ | Digitalisation’s role in shaping agriculture - A pathway to sustainability?

15 September 2022. Tech BBQ, Copenhagen.

They started coming “en masse” from early morning eager to see, hear and experience the latest in tech. Everyone seemed to be there – Google, Meta, the Crown Prince of Denmark, journalists, investors – all joining the latest innovative start ups and scale ups pushing the barriers, kicking their way in and ready to make waves... the Nordic way. 

As with any Scandinavian event, the day had to start with coffee. After all, nothing brings people closer together than getting their coffee fix (and networking). Chats included: the “must-attend” panels, which stages, and what were the buzz topics on everyone’s lips.

As the Community Engagement Officer at Agreena, I was there to collect sound bites, snapshots at the event, and engage with the ecosystem that is driving impact in the climate and agri-sector

And if I am being honest, pretty soon I had my head in the stars, pulsing to the sound of the buzzwords flying in the air: “Fintech”, “AI”, “VR”, “VC”. Half excited, half overwhelmed, I sat down for our panel - Digitalisation’s role in shaping agriculture - a pathway to sustainability?, and took away from it something I did not expect- a breath of fresh air bringing my feet back on the ground.

 

Why is technology exciting on the ground?

To enable food security we need “to increase food production by 60% over one and a half decade.”But,“We basically have 60 years of arable farming left. In 60 years our soils are dead,” said our co-founder and CEO, Simon Haldrup. 

Now, that helped put things into perspective. 

It is not about technology in itself, it is about the immense challenge ahead of us. What is obvious is that we cannot continue with the industrial farming model that we have today. Technology is not a magic wand, but it is the enablement. We need digitalisation and innovation for a purpose - to improve and transform our agricultural practices. As Simon put it, ”There is a time value in action here. We need to put boots on the ground - and technology is the enabler to mobilise farmers.” 

But, although farming has been labelled as both part of the problem and solution to our depleted resources and climate change, the weight of this transition is not all on farmers. The consensus of the panel which included expert representation from Kinnevik, Vaeksfonded, and Foodprint Nordic was that speeding up the transition demands:

  • Educating new generation of farmers about regenerative practices and carbon farming
  • Implementing directives that encourage best practices to protect the environment and guide the farmers
  • Raising accountability, traceability and reliable data
  • Funding to develop innovation and implement solutions and actions now
  • Technology to help mobilise and connect actions and solutions across sectors, stakeholders and geographies

What is crucial is a systemic and industrial change, and technology is one of the key enablers for the transition to the sustainable farming practices we need.

I definitely left this panel and TechBBQ feeling inspired and excited about the next steps we can all take to bring value to our farmers and take the journey along their side.

 


Press Release: Agreena acquires Hummingbird Technologies

 

PRESS RELEASE

Carbon farming agtech Agreena acquires Hummingbird Technologies to scale markets with integrity

Today’s announced acquisition from Agreena comes as an industry-first in regenerative agriculture. As the new marketplace for soil carbon certification quickly develops, the purchase of groundbreaking MRV-technology from Hummingbird further ensures the validity of its carbon certificates. This deal enhances Agreena’s capabilities and consolidates its leading market position.

COPENHAGEN (28 July 2022) – Technology is one of the main drivers in scaling the verification of carbon offset projects, with data and automation ensuring both its speed and fidelity. Agreena’s cross-border acquisition of U.K.-based Hummingbird Technologies is clear proof of this dynamic. With this new chapter in their partnership, Agreena puts key financial and commercial resources into the development of Hummingbird’s MRV (monitoring, reporting & verification) technology, a crucial innovation that helps create trustworthiness around soil carbon certificates.

Agreena and Hummingbird have closely collaborated for years, with the deal coming as an aligned strategic move between both leadership teams. The merger strengthens Agreena’s value chain, underlining the company’s internationally leading position within the agricultural sector for soil carbon certification. The purchase will result in a company with more than 80 combined employees. Agreena has been operating its soil carbon program in 13 countries throughout the pan-European market, and the new acquisition will build its operational capacity in the Americas and Australia. 

“Agreena is on a mission to enable an international regenerative agriculture movement, and this market-leading MRV solution can deliver a massive scalable impact,” says Simon Haldrup, co-founder and CEO of Agreena. “We have been thoroughly investigating advanced technology solutions and working towards enhancing our protocol since day one - and with this acquisition, we are not only scaling but also enhancing the integrity of the market.” 

Satellite technology helps verify farmers’ transition into sustainable production

Hummingbird's original technology vision as set out in 2016 by founder Will Wells, who will join Agreena as an advisor, was to alleviate the climate burden of intensive farming and food production through advanced remote sensing and data science. AI and satellite technology can support on-field data in proving that farmers have redirected their production towards more sustainable agricultural practices.  

Hummingbird Technologies has developed a machine learning-based monitoring and verification solution that uses low-orbit satellite imagery and ground-truth data. It automatically recognises and reports on-farm regenerative agriculture practices such as cover crops, tillage, and crop rotations to track green biomass and continuously monitor field activities. 

Agreena says that merging the two companies’ technology capabilities and bringing Hummingbird’s AI-based verification in-house is just the beginning and that jointly, the teams will be delivering innovative new tech solutions for the agriculture industry and soil carbon markets.   

The perfect match

“Hummingbird and Agreena were early pioneers in what is now a thriving regenerative agriculture economy. Our complementary technologies have enabled this market to take off, and as such, this is the perfect match,” says Alexander Jevons, CEO of Hummingbird Technologies. “Our companies’ partnership-turned-marriage is a natural progression in a maturing and fast-growing industry.” 

The two organisations will continue being led with their teams operating fully intact from Copenhagen and London - independently united in human, technology, and market resources. 

About Agreena

Founded by visionary agriculture and FinTech specialists and started as a digital trading platform intended to make grains trading more democratic and efficient, today Agreena is one of the first platforms across Europe to facilitate issuing and trading of carbon certificates for farmers and is now serving 13 countries in Europe. The AgreenaCarbon program follows the crop year and thus allows the farmers to reap the value of their climate efforts on an annual basis. The program and its certificates are third-party validated and verified by DNV. For more information on Agreena, visit https://agreena.com

About Hummingbird Technologies

Hummingbird Technologies provides advanced remote sensing analytics to improve the sustainability of the agri-food sector. The company uses artificial intelligence and deep learning to deliver monitoring, reporting & verification (MRV) for regenerative agriculture, enabling farmers to monetize carbon credits and other ecosystem services. For more information on Hummingbird Technologies, visit https://hummingbirdtech.com

 

###

Media Contact

Erica Johnson

erica.johnson@agreena.com

+ 45 3152 4980


Fram Farmers and Agreena partner over the green economy

Fram Farmers and Agreena partner over the green economy

Purchasing and crop marketing co-operative Fram Farmers and soil carbon certification company Agreena have formed a partnership to boost soil carbon sequestration in the UK and reward farmers for making the transition.

The partners say farmers can take a major role in moves to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by sequestering carbon from the atmosphere through conservation agriculture practices that regenerate soils and turn them into carbon sinks.

Fram Farmers will work with Agreena to educate its 1,400-farmer network about soil carbon certification and provide access to the green economy through the voluntary carbon market. “We’re working together to make an impact in agriculture, while supporting an additional new revenue stream for Fram Farmers’ members,” says Ida Boesen, co-founder of Agreena.

The Agreena platform helps farmers input data around individual fields and receive GHG emission baselines. They can create plans for a farm’s transition to regenerative practices and receive estimated potential earnings for each harvest year. Agreena monitors and verifies fields before issuing third-party verified carbon certificates, which can be held for the farm or sold as offsets to climate-conscious companies.

“The AgreenaCarbon programme is designed to help farmers overcome the knowledge and financial barriers around their ability to capture carbon via regenerative farming and soil sequestration,” says Fram Farmers chief executive Andrew Knowles. “We chose to partner with Agreena as the company has created a model that puts farmers first. Farmers have complete control of their carbon certificates, and through the connection to the voluntary carbon market, can be confident that they will maximise the value of their efforts.”

Ms Boesen adds: “In the immediate term, there is potential for cost reductions in fertiliser and crop protection and lower fuel and labour costs, all helping to drive up profitability. However, the benefits to the environment cannot be overestimated: improved soil quality driving up resiliency, higher water retention capacity, higher nutrient content and enhanced biodiversity.”

Read the article at AgriTradeNews.co.uk

 


Getting the value out of climate change policy

Getting the value out of climate change policy

Focusing on farm business efficiency and carefully considering the value at each stage can help farmers and their advisors plot a path through myriad offerings connected with climate change.

Speaking at the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV) Hybrid Conference and AGM, Jason Jordan, estates director of the 4,860ha Knowsley Estate, said he was becoming more climate aware, but he didn't feel in full possession of what needed to be done and where.

"We may want to look at biodiversity net gain – but what we don't want is to commit only to find out later it wasn't the right decision."

Any decisions to take land out of agricultural production need to be carefully considered, said Charlie Ireland, managing partner at Ceres Rural adding that if habitat and soils were considered separately, opportunities would be missed. "Agriculture emits 10% of greenhouse gases," he said. "But its ability to also sequester carbon can be used as a means to top up income which may be of interest to some businesses as BPS falls off.

"Companies like Agreena and Trinity Capital are paying farmers not for results but on a production system basis, valuing carbon at £30-£60ha depending on the level of intensity, or extensivity of the system – lower cultivations and regenerative systems," said Mr Ireland. "It is important to weigh the impact on productivity – businesses need to be aware of this."

With no standard tools for measuring carbon the variation in results can be large, he added. "Some make allowance for sequestering carbon on farms and some don't. We need standardisation of measurements if we are going to increase confidence in the ability of businesses to market carbon."

NFU vice president, Tom Bradshaw said too much time is spent on debating which carbon calculator to use. "With ELMs the government needs to incentivise uptake of carbon calculation and back one, two or three credible mechanisms.

"When it comes to soil organic matter there are two different tests with widely ranging organic matter levels. We need a standard protocol.

"Some people within Defra believe tree planting is the way forward - not at what agriculture can deliver, like hedges and improved soil organic matter. It isn't all about tree planting and taking land out of food production."

CAAV secretary and adviser Jeremy Moody questioned whether carbon had much value for sale, suggesting it had more value at home. "With its level of emissions, it is a hard job for agriculture to reach net zero. Farmers will need to hold carbon for their own net zero progress – helping someone else be net zero will not help the farm. It also has a low value at £7-£15/t at farm level and farms will not have that many tonnes to consider."

Soil is arguably a bigger issue for farming, he added. "Many soils have become depleted and their improvement supports good farming. But this is a net cost and how do we value it?"

To be net zero by 2050 is a very challenging target, he said "The UK has done the easiest 40% - better than most countries and with little effect on the public and ways of life. But it will get harder from now on, and it will be better and cheaper to tackle it in a planned way.

Read the article at Farming.co.uk


How Agreena can help you get into the carbon market

How Agreena can help you get into the carbon market

The Ag-tech firm, Agreena, is encouraging all farmers to get involved in the carbon market, with the help of Agreena’s internationally accredited soil carbon certification programs.

Using the AgreenaCarbon platform, farmers can record their green house gas and carbon emission reductions, to secure verified carbon certificates; which are owned solely by the farmers – meaning you choose what you do with your carbon values.

One carbon certificate equates to one tonne of carbon and/or green house gas emissions (GHG) removed from the atmosphere. Therefore, farmers who adopt regenerative agricultural practices could be making a profit from their reduced on-farm emissions: Agreena has estimated that earnings could be between £15-30 per certificate, or £35-60 per ha.

Read the article at FarmContractor Magazine


Agreena and Fram Farmers partner on soil carbon market to connect farmers to the green economy

Agreena and Fram Farmers partner on soil carbon market to connect farmers to the green economy

In the global move toward not only reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions but actually sequestering carbon from the atmosphere, farmers are taking a centre stage position to tackle the climate crisis.

Through the adoption of conservation agriculture practices, farmers can regenerate soils and turn them into carbon sinks in the process.

At Groundswell, Europe’s largest regenerative agriculture conference, Fram Farmers and soil carbon certification company Agreena announced a newly established partnership to ramp up soil carbon sequestration in the UK and reward farmers for making the transition.

Fram Farmers supports more than 1,400 farm businesses across the UK with a variety of membership services. The organisations will work together to educate the farmer network about soil carbon certification and provide access to the green economy through the voluntary carbon market.

“We’re working together to make an impact in agriculture – while supporting an additional new revenue stream for Fram Farmers’ members,” says Ida Boesen, co-founder of Agreena. “The partnership comes in a timely manner as farmers have until the 30 June to register for participation in the 2022 AgreenaCarbon harvest to receive rewards for this year.”

Agreena’s technology platform supports farmers to input data around individual fields and receive GHG emission baselines. If a farmer decides, they can create a plan for their farm’s transition to regenerative practices and receive estimated potential earnings for each planned harvest year. Agreena monitors and verifies fields before issuing third-party verified carbon certificates which can be held for the farm or sold as offsets to climate-conscious companies.

“The AgreenaCarbon programme is designed to help farmers overcome the knowledge and financial barriers around their ability to capture carbon via regenerative farming and soil sequestration,” says Andrew Knowles, CEO of Fram Farmers. “We chose to partner with Agreena as the company has created a model that puts farmers first. Farmers have complete control of their carbon certificates, and through the connection to the voluntary carbon market, can be confident that they will maximise the value of their efforts.”

Agreena and Fram Farmers say they will further reduce the complexity surrounding carbon markets by running a series of educational events. The partners say they will help farmers improve the all-important bottom line in the short-term, but also spur long-term benefits resulting from regenerative farming practices.

“In the immediate term, there is potential for cost reductions in fertiliser and crop protection and lower fuel and labour costs, all helping to drive up profitability,” continued Boesen. “However, the benefits to the environment cannot be overestimated: improved soil quality driving up resiliency, higher water retention capacity, higher nutrient content and enhanced biodiversity.”

 

For more information visit: agreena.com/framfarmers

 

Read the article at FPC FreshtalkDaily


Carbon farming crops should be sown now to achieve profits, says Agreena

Carbon farming crops should be sown now to achieve profits, says Agreena

According to European-wide soil carbon certification company Agreena, farmers interested in picking up extra profits for climate-friendly practices must register fields to participate prior to the company’s June 30 cut-off.

Agreena’s marketplace for farmers to generate carbon certificates follows the same annual harvest cycle that agriculture already knows from arable farming.

“Farmers are used to sowing a large part of their crops in the spring and harvesting them in the autumn. Now you must remember another crop in your fields: CO2”, says Oliver Clarke, UK manager at Agreena. “Although the transition to regenerative agricultural practices can be costly, farmers now can make a profit on it through private sector investment. Payments just went out for the first year of the programme, which has drawn up additional interest.”

Farmer-centric certification

The company’s incentive scheme, AgreenaCarbon, quantifies carbon emission reduction and removals for farmers at the field-level through their transition of regenerative agriculture processes and issues certificates for each annual cycle. The certificates can be kept by the farmer for their own offset purposes or be sold onto the voluntary carbon market to companies that are looking to offset their own practices.

With farmers now participating in the programme from 12 countries across Europe, the company says that its farmer-centric approach in honouring the entrepreneurial decision making of each farmer what to do with their certificates has been paramount to its success.

For more information on Agreena and its carbon platform visit: https://agreena.com/

Read the article at cpm Magazine


Carbon farming crops to be sown now if a profit is to be reaped this year

Carbon farming crops to be sown now if a profit is to be reaped this year

The market for carbon credits in U.K. agriculture is growing at a steadfast rate, and soil carbon certification company Agreena says it is experiencing increased interest among farmers taking the green transition into their own hands. Farmers who want to reap the extra benefits regenerative agriculture practices must sign up this month to participate in this year’s harvest through the private sector incentive scheme.

According to European-wide soil carbon certification company Agreena, farmers interested in picking up extra profits for climate-friendly practices must register fields to participate prior to the company’s June 30 cutoff. Their marketplace for farmers to generate carbon certificates follows the same annual harvest cycle that agriculture already knows from arable farming.

“Farmers are used to sowing a large part of their crops in the spring and harvesting them in the autumn. Now you must remember another crop in your fields: CO2”, says Oliver Clarke, UK manager at Agreena. “Although the transition to regenerative agricultural practices can be costly, farmers now can make a profit on it through private sector investment. Payments just went out for the first year of the programme, which has drawn up additional interest.”

 

Read the article at Agronomist & Arable Farmer


Press Release: Danish Agro and Agreena enter partnership on carbon certificates

PRESS RELEASE

4 May 2022

Danish Agro and Agreena enter partnership on carbon certificates

The agricultural group Danish Agro and Agreena, which facilitates carbon certificate trading, have just entered a partnership. The two companies will jointly spread awareness of climate-friendly cultivation practices and the associated opportunity of issuing carbon certificates to farmers.

Danish Agro is dedicated to supporting farmers in the green transition. For example, through regenerative agricultural practices, farmers can sequester carbon and store it in the soil. Such a transition requires investments on the farm. This is precisely why Group CEO of Danish Agro, Henning Haahr, sees exciting opportunities with this agreement.

“Many customers have encouraged us to have a closer look at carbon certificates, and in our view, they represent a real opportunity for individual farmers to finance the green transition”, says Henning Haahr and continues:

“Agreena has developed a professional platform for data collection, verification, and issuance of carbon certificates. They have been a responsible player in the process of developing and strengthening soil carbon certificate trading. We see great potential value for the farmers and would like to develop the opportunities together with Agreena. One of Agreena’s great strengths is that the farmer remains in full control of what he wants to do with his certificates. He can sell them, keep them, or ask Agreena to sell them for him. It is up to the individual farmer to decide, and it is with him the value of the climate effort lands, which has been important to us”, he says.

Initially, the focus is on farmers in Denmark and Baltic countries, but the plan is to spread the partnership to Danish Agro group’s entire business area.

Ida Boesen, co-founder and director at Agreena, is looking forward to the collaboration.

“This marks the beginning of a long-term partnership and is a major step for Danish agriculture, which has the potential to be at the forefront of the sustainable transition. It represents Denmark’s private sector working in collaboration to take the lead and bring innovative climate solutions in the market”, she says and continues:

“Through our partnership, Danish Agro and Agreena are enabling a transition that will bring extra value to farmers. This can create long-term climate impacts as well as future increased profitability due to lower fuel and labour costs, improved soil quality, higher water retention capacity and nutrient content, and increased biodiversity”, she concludes.

Any contracts for the carbon certificate programme will be concluded with Agreena, which is accredited to the international standard ISO 14064. The company’s certification programme and carbon certificates are third-party verified by Det Norske Veritas (DNV).

For further information, please contact:

Søren Møgelvang Nielsen
Group Director, Communication & Marketing, Danish Agro Tel. +45 2332 8274

Erica Johnson
Sustainability Affairs Officer, Agreena Tel. + 45 3152 4980

 

About the Danish Agro group

The Danish Agro group comprises several agro-industrial companies in Denmark and abroad. They all have one overriding objective: to contribute to value-creating solutions for individual farms in close collaboration with customers. The Group mainly sells feed mixtures, raw material and vitamin mixtures, fertiliser, plant protection products, seed grain and energy, and also buys crops from the agricultural sector. In addition, the Group represents several strong machinery brands for agriculture and operates an extensive chain of hobby and leisure retail stores. The Danish Agro group currently employs approximately 5,000 people, and in 2022 its turnover will be around EUR 5.6 billion.

 

About Agreena

Agreena was founded by visionary agriculture and FinTech specialists and started as a digital trading platform intended to make grains trading more democratic and efficient. Today, Agreena is one of the first platforms across Europe to facilitate issuing of and trading in carbon certificates for farmers. Agreena puts the farmers first and helps them to a successful transition of their agricultural practices. More than 150 farmers from ten countries have already transitioned to more climate-friendly agricultural practices through Agreena’s carbon programme. The programme follows the crop year and thus allows the farmers to reap the value of their climate efforts on an annual basis. The programme is also ISO 14064-2 certified and applies internationally recognised protocols and calculation methods.

Download Press release as PDF


Webinar: Find out how to increase soil carbon

Soil carbon farming: What's in it for me?

Register now and join us for this this webinar hosted by Farmers Weekly, in association with Agreena, on Thursday 19th May to find out everything you need to know about soil carbon farming.

 

Soil carbon farming: What's in it for me?

Thursday 19th May
5pm - 6:15pm

Register now

 

The importance of agricultural soil as a store for tonnes of carbon each year is growing in emphasis, but what is soil carbon? And what are the opportunities and risks surrounding monetisation of carbon credits?

Join us on the 12th of May as we provide answers to these questions. We will be exploring soil carbon farming further, not only as a possible future revenue stream, but also in terms of how regenerative farming practices can help store carbon to improve soil health and overall productivity.

 

Our panel of experts will be debating the the dos and don’ts of soil carbon farming and discussing:

  • What is soil carbon farming?
  • Why is it important for farmers?
  • How can you increase soil carbon?
  • What are the opportunities and risks surrounding monetisation of carbon credits?
  • How much control do farmers have over carbon certificates?

 

Register now