Wide Open Agriculture (WOA) announced it has signed a Non-Binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the CBH Group (CBH) to explore certification, marketing and global distribution of carbon neutral grain.
CBH is Australia's largest exporter of grain with end-to-end operations across grain storage, handling, transport, marketing and processing. CBH is 100% owned and controlled by Western Australian grain growers, had revenue of more than AUD$4 billion in 2019 and operates offices across Australia, Japan and Hong Kong.
Under the agreement, WOA and CBH will explore the feasibility of sourcing, certifying, marketing and distributing carbon neutral oats, barley and lupins from Western Australia. The project will also consider the potential for regenerative farming practices to support this goal.
Carbon neutral certification has been identified as a possible verification tool to support and differentiate Western Australian grain products. If successful, the project could lead to one of the world’s first carbon neutral certified products for buyers seeking more sustainable grain alternatives.
Managing Director, Dr Ben Cole said “WOA have developed a deep understanding of regenerative farming systems and are transitioning the company towards carbon neutral certification across all products. Developing grain products with a clear understanding of their environmental impact from farm-to-customer could provide new market access and potential premiums for growers”.
CBH Chief Marketing and Trading Officer, Jason Craig said “Australian grain continues to rightly benefit from a strong reputation as a clean and green grain producer. We are also seeing growing demand for sustainably produced grain, so we look forward to working with WOA to explore the market opportunity for carbon neutral grain in the international marketplace.”
The intent is to execute this project in line with the 2020-21 southern hemisphere grain growing season with the following core objectives;
1 - Supply
Identify the potential available supply of commercial quantities of oats, barley and lupins that meet carbon neutral specifications. Work with five leading Western Australian grain growers to test the feasibility of supplying to a carbon neutral grain program.
2 - Process & Costs
Investigate the potential processes and costs related to providing carbon neutral certification support services, carbon reduction programs, regenerative farming transition support and carbon offsetting services.
3 - Market Opportunity
Understand the potential market opportunity, demand and price that CBH export customers could be willing to pay for this differentiated product.
4 - Positive Impact
Facilitate a framework for positive environmental outcomes on-farm, alongside direct economic benefits for participating growers.
If both parties agree that the certification, marketing and distribution of carbon neutral and regeneratively grown grain is feasible, WOA and CBH may progress to a commercialisation phase.