Control Union launch regenerative agriculture platform
Global complianceorganisation, Peterson Control Union Group, releasesRegenagri, a regenerative agriculture platform, with data and technology from Agrimetrics.
Regenerative agriculture is an approach to food and farming that addresses major ecological and environmental challenges such as soil restoration, improving biodiversity, and increasing carbon sequestration. Benefits for farmers include improving land value, reducing inputs, and aligning their business with future regulatory and subsidy models, e.g. ELMS. And it’s on the rise. Farmer’s Weekly, the UK’s largest weekly agricultural trade publication, referenced ‘regenerative agriculture’ in more than half of their 2020 editions; Farmers Guardian, the second largest, has mentioned it in almost all of them.
Regenagri: a membership platform for continuous improvement
Regenagri’s engagement model is based around a digital hub that brings together different aspects of a community to provide actionable insights on regenerative agriculture. Franco Constantini, MD at Control Union UK, has described regenerative agriculture as a “growing movement”. This motivated Control Union to develop Regenagri.
“Regenagri is a membership platform designed for continuous improvement of agricultural practice,” continues Franco. “It promotes holistic farming techniques that increase soil organic matter, encourage biodiversity and sequester CO2 from the atmosphere.”
The platform is aimed at farms and organisations looking to restore land and make it carbon positive.
“We’ll empower farmers to transition towards more ecologically sustainable practices via the Regenagri digital hub, consultancy and certification,” concludes Franco. Members of RegenAgri gain numerous benefits, including greater access to relevant data and markets, training, and accreditation from a global certifying body. There are benefits for yields and profitability too.
Enabled by Agrimetrics
To make RegenAgri successful, Control Union required an integrated platform capable of collecting and assessing a wide variety of data points on the practices and environment of an agricultural business. Users then needed an automated recommendation based on this assessment. The platform would need to support a tiered pricing model. And vitally, this whole journey had to be simple, easy and digital.
“Having the correct digital platform for data collection is important for two reasons,” explains Matthew Smith, Agrimetrics Chief Product Officer. “Users are more likely to engage with a platform if the user experience is clean and easy. And secondly, collecting the data digitally and in the right format is essential for auditing activity and effective data analysis.”
RegenAgri was launched this June at The Innovation Forum: The Future of Food Virtual Conference. You can find out more about RegenAgri here.
Linked-data and regenerative agriculture
Regenagri can be easily accessed via a web-based application, created by Agrimetrics and with creative design and technical support from UK Startup Wonder14. Carbon sequestration is an aspect of regenerative agriculture that promises substantial benefits for industry, farmers and the public; however, estimating and managing carbon sequestration is heavily reliant on the availability of data.
The carbon sequestration potential of a farm is influenced by a range of factors. Most obvious is what the land is being used for: growing hedges or woodland, permanent pasture or arable crops, but how production is being managed – e.g. machinery operations, rotations and cultivation and the local environmental conditions also have major influences.
“Obtaining and relating data on these key factors will be an essential first-step for estimating carbon sequestration,” continues Matthew Smith. “Through our Data Marketplace, Agrimetrics have created the infrastructure to enable the necessary data to be brought together from the different providers in a cost-effective way and which ultimately then be turned into tradable carbon credits for the farmer or initiative funder.”
Improving and monitoring biodiversity is similarly reliant on linked data, e.g. connecting and analysing a range of data is central to natural capital and sustainability accounting.
“A Data Marketplace that provides value back to data owners and simplifies access for consumers is the most effective way of getting people to share vital data,” concludes Matthew. “Behind the scenes, we deploy the latest linked data technologies to help join that data up, making regenerative agriculture initiatives like carbon sequestration and natural capital accounting possible.” You can visit Agrimetrics Data Marketplace here.
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