US-based ProducePay and ALLCOT introduce programme for fresh produce growers

ProducePay has partnered with ALLCOT to create a carbon offset programme developed specifically for growers of primary crops.

Carbon offset graphic Adobe

The new programme is described as a first-of-its-kind programme tailored for produce growers, who until now have not had the tools to participate in the growing voluntary carbon market, which is estimated to reach US$50bn by 2030.

The carbon offset programme is the first component of ProducePay’s Sustainably Sourced initiative which, when launched later this year, will be the first ever worldwide sustainable produce supply chain standard created to establish an efficient, profitable, responsible and sustainable fresh produce ecosystem.

A recent feasibility study ProducePay conducted in consultation with ALLCOT to assess the carbon market potential of five produce growers revealed that each grower was well poised to be a future participant in the global carbon market.

While voluntary carbon markets have been created for the forestry sector and large securitised crops like wheat and soy in the US, until now there has never been an understanding of the potential role of the US$1.3tn global produce sector in helping to limit global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The study, which examined farms in the US. and Mexico growing asparagus, grapes and strawberries, saw that the growers were already performing many of the sustainable agricultural practices needed for decarbonisation and ultimately selling verifiable carbon offsets in the international market.

“Too often produce growers are left behind when it comes to the innovation and modernisation of the agricultural industry,” said Pablo Borquez Schwarzbeck, CEO and founder of ProducePay.

“These growers are sitting on a lucrative opportunity to make thousands, if not millions, of dollars in residual income that will not only help the world mitigate climate change but also create a more resilient future for them – as these growers are often the most impacted by climate change,” he explained. ”We want to empower produce farmers to be on the frontlines of carbon markets, not on the sidelines.”

Carbon offsetting and sustainability initiative specialist ALLCOT has provided ProducePay with recommendations for helping its small-to-medium growers develop a roadmap for adopting additional infrastructure and carbon-smart practices.

These include pressurised irrigation systems, alternative farming inputs and implementing water desalination technology, all with the aim of becoming fully compliant with carbon market practices.

ProducePay said it expected its carbon offset programme to be a new service offered to growers in its marketplace later this year.

ALLCOT has also ensured that ProducePay’s carbon offset program will meet the rigorous international standards of their carbon verification.

“It’s been an honour to join ProducePay in this transformational initiative for the agricultural sector,” said Natalia Rodrigo Vega, chief business development at ALLCOT.

”We are excited to lend our expertise and rigour in the climate markets space to establish ProducePay’s carbon offset programme,” he said. “Our efforts will equip growers to harness the power of carbon-smart practices to build their businesses, protect the environment and provide community benefits.”