CHICAGO - Indigo Agriculture has announced two milestones for its carbon farming program: Completed production of the world’s first crop of verified carbon credits generated at scale, to be issued by the Climate Action Reserve to Carbon by Indigo in the coming days, and buyer commitments to purchase credits at $40, a $13/credit increase over previous pricing.
“This issuance validates the role of agriculture in meeting the world’s urgent need for the kind of sustainability and climate solutions that Indigo’s network of farmers, soil scientists, buyers, and partners have worked tirelessly to realize,” said Indigo CEO Ron Hovsepian.
While agricultural lands represent one of the largest carbon sequestration opportunities on the planet, the ag industry has historically produced less than 1% of voluntary carbon credits. The issuance of these credits is the first in a repeatable process for producing the highest quality agricultural credits for the growing voluntary carbon credit market – a market estimated to be worth up to $50 billion by 2030.
Using proven sustainability and soil health practices including cover cropping and no-till, 175 participating U.S. farmers produced around 20,000 credits for Indigo’s network of 17 committed buyers, including major companies like JP Morgan Chase, Blue Bottle Coffee, and New Belgium Brewing. Today, nearly 2,000 farmers have enrolled almost 5 million acres to generate a new, annual income stream in the form of agricultural carbon credits with Indigo’s program.
“Our goal as a farming family is to move a profitable operation on to the next generation,” said Lance Unger, who grows corn, soybeans and wheat in southwestern Indiana and earned more than $26,000 in additional carbon credit revenue through the program by adopting tillage strategies. “The farm doesn’t look the same as it did when my grandpa started it, and I see carbon credits as a new valuable option for us long term. Our ground can produce carbon credits every year. And the more that companies focus on being carbon neutral, the more valuable those carbon credits are – it’s basic supply and demand. When you add to that the agronomic and environmental benefits for us, including soil and plant health, it’s a win-win for everyone.”
To help farmers produce high-quality, accurately measured carbon credits, Indigo Agriculture used an innovative, hybrid approach that combines soil sampling and modeling to generate credits at scale. Those credits were then verified by a third-party, finalized and issued by the Climate Action Reserve for the exclusive use of Indigo’s committed carbon buyers.
“With this milestone, we see the results of a collaborative effort to create an innovative, robust solution for accurate, cost-effective credit generation in agriculture,” said Craig Ebert, president of the Reserve. “These credits are tangible evidence that, by voluntarily improving soil health and measuring their efforts to the highest degree of confidence, farmers gain a new credible source of income and benefit from the massive global investment in carbon credits underway.”Indigo’s second credit issuance – calculated based on farmers’ carbon farming efforts through 2021 – is expected early next year.