Farming accounts for 24 percent of Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions, and this is largely due to increased meat consumption as well as the intensive, ‘industrial’ agricultural methods employed over the past few decades. However, a new method is taking the farming world by storm. ‘Regenerative farming’ hands unproductive land back to nature, fosters wildlife, and stores planet-killing CO2, virtually using the soil as a carbon sink.
By creating woodlands and restoring peatlands, carbon can be captured as well as halting the decline in natural diversity needed for things like bee pollination. In addition, regenerative farming plays a drift away from old government subsidy regimes, which have been focusing on the environment, CO2 emissions and away from industrial farming.
agarina is a Dutch startup that mines, verifies and sells carbon credits generated by farmers transitioning to more regenerative forms of farming.
Launched only this summer, the company has now raised a $4.7 million seed funding round led by Giant Ventures, with the Danish Green Future Fund of the Danish government. Many European farmers also participated.
Agrina says its platform provides an economic incentive for farmers to switch from traditional arable farming to regenerative farming methods by issuing a ‘CO2e-certificate’ that can be sold between farmers and potential buyers.
So how does it work? Farmers register their fields and receive advice on transitioning to regenerative practices. The changes are then monitored by AGRINA through satellite imagery and soil verification. Farmers can then sell the CO2e-certificates independently or through Agrina’s Marketplace to companies that wish to purchase carbon offsets from farmers. Buyers then track their sponsored CO2 reductions on a field level through Agrina’s platform.
Simon Haldrup, CEO of Agrina, said: “Our team consists of 30 professionals, including carbon scientists, software developers and commercial development hackers. Agriculture has deep roots in Denmark, a historically proud agricultural country, which is why the company’s Born here, but we are expanding across Europe and intend to expand globally.” Agrina was founded by Haldrup. Julie Koch Fahler And ida bossen.
Agrina claims to have contracted more than 50,000 hectares in its first year, pre-selling more than 20% of its mining carbon offset certificates.
There is some competition in the startup space. Voluntary carbon market for agriculture, including US scale-up blue (US Unicorn), Nori (US and blockchain-focused), and UK/France based Soil Capital. But Agrina says its main difference is its vertically integrated carbon platform.
Cameron MacLean, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Giant Ventures, commented: “We are excited by Agrina’s vertically integrated approach to agricultural carbon offsets, which is sympathetic to the specifics of the industry and encourages farmers. We also believe that Agrina could become the leading Internet marketplace to facilitate online B2B commerce within agriculture, a nut that no one has been able to break so far.”