The project, which the companies claim establishes a ‘comprehensive and scientifically robust’ soil carbon baseline for First Milk farms, will use state-of-the-art machinery to carry out intensive soil carbon analysis at a fraction of the usual cost.
The companies said the approach allowed soil carbon sequestration to be measured over time – with the project seeing high intensity, field-by-field soil carbon stock quantified across 40 farms, with the intention to extend this to 100 First Milk farms by the end of 2021.
The project is being guided by Dr. Helaina Black, a leading soil-ecologist and Honorary Associate at the James Hutton Institute.
Commenting on the announcement, Mark Brooking, Sustainability Director, said First Milk aimed to be carbon neutral by 2040:
“Having robust, scientifically-validated soil carbon data is absolutely critical to the successful delivery of this strategy.
“We’ll be working with all of our farmer members and external advisers, using this data to understand soil carbon levels and inform the development of practical regenerative plans for farms that capture additional soil carbon through sequestration, whilst maintaining and enhancing productivity and efficiency.”
Robin Sundaram, Responsible Sourcing Manager, Nestlé UK, said his company had committed to supporting farmers in its supply chain to implement regenerative agricultural practices to improve soil health and increase soil carbon sequestration – and allow the effectiveness of regenerative practices over time in capturing additional soil carbon to be determined.