23 February 2023, Canada: Although all carbon offset markets aim to help businesses reduce their total environmental impact, they are not identical. Each market has nuances that impact how credit purchasing organizations can get involved and reach their climate goals. To better understand the burgeoning agricultural carbon market, we sat down with Divya Chandorkar, Senior Carbon and Fuels Broker at Karbone Inc., to learn how the market operates now and where it is headed over the next 6 – 12 months.
How do agriculture offset markets differ from those in other industries – forestry, waste management, etc.?
Although agriculture falls under the nature-based category, the agricultural market is completely unique. It’s highly driven by buyers and what they are interested in. Since it’s still a relatively new category, buyers can be reluctant to purchase from this space. However, we have seen a rise in unique, quality agricultural projects and believe as more projects are introduced, interest from buyers will increase.
How active are buyers in the agriculture carbon offset market currently?
Buyers are still reluctant to purchase agricultural carbon credits due to a lack of transparency, awareness, and their experience with it.
What drives carbon pricing, and what can we expect in the next 6-12 months regarding the market’s trajectory?
Carbon pricing can be like the wild west. Unfortunately, there is no crystal ball to determine future pricing. It’s no secret that recent macroeconomic trends have affected all commodity markets. For carbon, it’s based on the number and types of projects available, and more specifically, what buyers are looking for to meet their sustainability goals.
Last November, we saw a spike in pricing up until the summer of 2022. Since then, we have seen a steep decrease in liquidity and a shift towards renewable-type offsets. What we do know is there is a growing interest in carbon offsets and carbon neutrality amongst buyers, and we hope with more awareness and projects available, we’ll see more interest in the agricultural space.
In your opinion, what’s the timeline for a buyer purchasing Farmers Edge-produced carbon offsets?
It’s not as simple as just adding to cart. We put buyers through an initial screening process to ensure that their goals and intentions align with the Project Design Document (PDD). This is for the benefit of the buyer and the seller. One advantage of Farmers Edge carbon projects is the ability to provide traceability on the offsets. Buyers want to ensure what they are investing in is legitimate.
What should farmers be thinking about to maximize the value of getting rewarded on their farm? And how can the agriculture industry work to attract buyers/increase awareness amongst buyers to purchase farm-generated carbon credits?
There has been a large interest from buyers in procuring carbon offsets, however, interest only gets people so far. There needs to be more awareness and education in this space. Not only does the project needs to be compelling enough to attract the buyer, but it also needs to be accompanied by educational resources so they understand what they are buying and how that relates back to their business goals. Increasing awareness is a collective effort of all participants involved, from the farmer generating the credit to the companies they are working with to bring the credits to market.
At Farmers Edge, we are connecting hardworking farmers with industry to support a sustainable planet and increase the production of low-carbon grain. For more information about purchasing agricultural carbon credits as part of your sustainability initiatives, visit our carbon information page or contact us at Carbon@FarmersEdge.ca.
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