How EarthOptics gives consumers carbon storage power
A new product labeling initiative from EarthOptics will help consumers buy products that demonstrate the ag-sourced ingredients contribute positively to world carbon neutrality goals.
The “Soil Carbon Project” will measure the amount of carbon stored in a farm’s soil, giving retailers a chance to market the climate-saving virtues of their product, while also giving farmers a potential revenue stream.
Consumers could choose to buy those products labeled with a specific carbon storage measurement, says Lars Dyrud, chief executive officer of EarthOptics.
“I’m trying to create a program that doesn’t require farmers to do anything. They will get paid for the carbon that’s already there, or new carbon stored,” Dyrud says.
How it works
CPG companies partnering with EarthOptics to implement the Soil Carbon Project will be able to accurately measure and display on qualifying climate-smart product packaging the amount of carbon removed from the atmosphere and stored in the soil where the agricultural ingredients were harvested.
To qualify for the EarthOptics Soil Carbon Project, a product must contain raw ingredients, i.e., agricultural crops, that are grown in soil where they draw down carbon from the atmosphere to store in the soil. The Soil Carbon Project label will clearly display in pounds how much CO2 was removed from the atmosphere and stored in the soil during the crop season. This information is validated through cutting-edge EarthOptics technology that combines on-field sensors, patented ML, and baseline soil core samples to bring unmatched accuracy to soil-property measurement and analysis.
“For farmers who have food contracts, it’s really straightforward,” Dyrud says. “We map fields and track new carbon, combining with yield. It’s a digital trace and farmers will get paid accordingly.”
For farmers who grow traditional commodity crops, EarthOptics seeks partners willing to commit to tracking carbon and commodity stream, he adds.
EarthOptics uses ground-penetrating sensors on its GroundOwl tool to scan the soil structure of a field. The data from these sensors feeds the machine learning software C-MapperTM to provide accurate soil carbon measurements and maps that can be used to verify soil carbon content.
A prototype for the EarthOptics Soil Carbon Project (TM), this product packaging label will relay to consumers that agricultural ingredients in the product they are purchasing kept, for example, 20 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the atmosphere and retained it in the soil during the growing of that ingredient.
Win for consumers, win for the environment
The EarthOptics Soil Carbon Project, as an incentive program, will allow consumers to reward food producers with premium pricing. It also helps heighten consumer awareness of soil carbon sequestration as one of the most significant considerations in a climate-smart product.
For producers, the EarthOptics Soil Carbon Project, as a crop incentive program, will also enable their participation in the Carbon Credit Marketplace, ensuring economic vitality is realized from climate-smart agriculture practices.
“For a labeling initiative to be successful, it needs to be accurate and trustworthy. Measuring soil carbon retention for food and other consumer goods historically has been a costly and time-intensive endeavor. What we’ve been able to do at EarthOptics is move the soil carbon needle from estimation to accurate, verifiable measurements,” Dyrud said in a statement.
“Consumers will be able to look at our Soil Carbon Project label and appreciate that the corn used to make their cornflakes took 1 pound of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and kept it in the soil, or the grain used to produce a six-pack of beer took 20 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.”