Introduction to the challenge addressed
The latest European and French political guidelines are moving towards carbon neutrality (in 2050 for France). To do this, greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced in all sectors. In particular, agriculture is responsible for 19% of French emissions. France, in its Stratégie Nationale Bas Carbone (National Low Carbon Strategy), sets efforts for the agricultural sector : -20% in 2030 compared to 2015 and -49% in 2050 compared to 2015
The ruminant sectors want to move towards a low-carbon and sustainable livestock farming, and has established solutions to remunerate farmers to reduce their emissions.
The association France CARBON AGRI was created in this sense. As part of the Label Bas Carbone (Low Carbon Label) and the CARBON AGRI method, the ruminant livestock sectors wanted to optimize carbon credits for the benefit of farmers, in order to ensure a financial return proportional to the reduction in emissions. They therefore created France CARBON AGRI to meet economic and environmental challenges at the service of territorial projects and breeders.
It is intended for French farms of mixed crop-breeding of ruminants (dairy and suckler cattle, sheep and goats).
Description of Innovation
To benefit from the Label Bas Carbone, a project must refer to a "method" approved by the Ministère de la Transition Ecologique et Solidaire (French Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition) that includes.
The ruminant livestock sectors established, as the reference tool the CARBON AGRI method.
It is a multi-lever method aimed at accounting for the emission reductions allowed by the implementation of practices allowing the mitigation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as well as the increase of carbon (C) storage in soils and biomass in farms located in France. The CARBON AGRI methodology proposes a framework based on the monitoring of carbon intensity (kg CO2/kg of product). It is based on the realization of a CAP'2ER level 2 diagnosis, which measures the environmental impacts, resulting from production activities, at the scale of a farm, at the beginning and at the end of the project, in parallel with the implementation of accompanying measures for producers.
The CARBON AGRI method gives the possibility to farms engaged, via a project leader, in an additional project to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to have its emission reductions certified by the French State. Project leaders and farmers will be able to be remunerated by a voluntary partner, who will be able to have these emission reductions recognized, following an audit.
The association France CARBON AGRI (created by farmers associations) buys carbon credits and coordinates the support of these project leaders, in order to ensure:
• Maximum return to producers at the farm level : 30€ per ton of CO2 avoided (sold at 38€)
• A massification of the offer that gives visibility, while guaranteeing traceability
• Management and coordination of territorial projects
• A optimization of human and financial resources
For farmers who wish to set up a global exploitation project combining the implementation of one or more low-carbon practices (herd management, feeding, management of areas and inputs,...), have their GHG emission and carbon storage reductions certified, communicate positively about their commitments and be paid for reducing their GHG emissions, France CARBON AGRI is a support solution.
France CARBON AGRI accompanies the farmer to explain carbon impact reduction mechanisms, for the design of the project with the network of carbon advisors who will carry out the CAP'2ER diagnosis, build the carbon action plan and provide personalized advice, for the project monitoring, the quantification of reductions and sharing experience with breeders and committed actors. All through the five year projet.
France CARBON AGRI ensures for the farmer the certification of the project with administrative bodies, the search for funders and contracting with the parties.
Impact on farm performance
The implementation of projects via France CARBON AGRI requires the implementation of levers on the farm. These levers are personalized to breeding and can be of several kinds. They may concern, in particular:
• Herd management: Sanitary management, age at 1st calving, genetic performance, ...
• Feeding the herd: Quality of fodder, grazing, consumption of concentrates, protein autonomy, ...
• Management of animal waste: storage & spreading of excrement, methanization, ...
• Fertilizer consumption: Optimization of fertilization, implementation of legumes, crop rotation, ...
• Energy consumption: Electricity consumption of the milking block, economical driving, test bench, methanization…
• Management of cultivated areas: Intermediate crops, duration of temporary meadows, simplified tillage, reduction of fertilization
• Management of agro-ecological elements: Establish meadows, manage and implement hedgerows, develop agroforestry
In addition, livestock with the lowest gross GHG emissions:
• Produce 100 kg more live meat per LU
• Using fewer inputs (concentrates and fertilizers)
• Graze more
Farmer comment (for Good Practices)
"Load control and autonomy are our main priorities. These objectives are in line with the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, which encourages to consume fewer inputs. That is why we have not hesitated to launch our project.”
The France CARBON AGRI association’s website : Accueil - France Carbon Agri Association (france-carbon-agri.fr)
On the Label Bas Carbone : Label bas-carbone : récompenser les acteurs de la lutte contre le changement climatique | Ministère de la Transition écologique (ecologie.gouv.fr)
On CAP2ER : CAP'2ER® (idele.fr)