As the world begins to demand carbon-zero food and fibre, this country can be in pole position. It gives us a real point of difference on the world stage and will allow us to command premiums. We not only need to do this for our sector, we need to do this for the planet.Geoff Ross | Lake Hawea Station
Many high country sheep and beef farms are already carbon-neutral or very close, as research at AUT discovered last year. It’s just a case of proving it, like Lake Hawea Station did to become the first carbon-neutral farm in New Zealand.
Carbon-neutral certification is invaluable to them. As a farm running 10,000 Merino sheep on 6,500 hectares near Wanaka, their prized wool is used in the production of All Birds footwear – a kiwi brand known worldwide for its eco-friendly status. They also supply Sheep Inc., who produce carbon negative knitwear.
When the farm was certified carbon-neutral by Toitu Envirocare, their extensive native tree planting and regenerative techniques worked entirely in their favour, and there was no need to cut their stock numbers and lose money. The process of certification was relatively simple, initially using online calculators with figures being assessed by scientists, and final visits by Toitu to verify numbers.
Developed in partnership with Overseer and AsureQuality, Toitū’s farm certification programme is New Zealand’s first carbon certification designed specifically for farms. The programme uses Toitū carbon management software that integrates OverseerFM greenhouse gas emission analysis. AsureQuality’s role is to independently verify the farm’s carbon footprint.Manaaki Whenua | Landcare Research
Lake Hawea Station will be the first of many New Zealand farms assessed to be carbon-neutral, leading the way to prove that farms can be part of the climate change solution.
To find out more about Toitu Envirocare and Lake Hawea Station’s certification, visit the Toitu website…
Photo Credit: Bogdan R Anton (Pexels)