12. February 2020
Pay the for the tree, not the apple
Interview with Georg Goeres, Head of Europe, Indigo Agriculture
Farmers should be empowered to adopt sustainable methods like regenerative agriculture, says Indigo’s Head of Europe, Georg Goeres. In order to do so, we have to pay them for how they produce and not only what they produce: Pay them for how they grow the apple, not just the fruit itself.
By Sarah Liebigt
Farm & Food: One of the major topics of the Farm & Food congress is regenerative agriculture. What is your relationship to that topic as a company and why is it relevant?
Georg Goeres: We as Indigo see a lot of challenges in agriculture today. And we believe, there are also a lot of solutions that we can bring to the table. Since our start in 2014 we have been working on microbiome solutions as input for the farmer. We set up a large research base in this area.
More recently we launched the Terraton Initiative. With this initiative we want to encourage farmers to change their agricultural practises to more regenerative ones and also measure their activities. Regenerative farming practises improve the quality of the soil and play a huge role in drawing down carbon from the atmosphere. Which is exactly what the Initiative wants to achieve – sequestering 1 trillion tons of carbon dioxide.
Soil has an immense impact on the health of our food system. When there’s more carbon in the soil, it is richer and full of life. It better supports plants, requires less fertilizer and yields more crops. In short, carbon-dense soil enriches agriculture.
We are planning on certifying that process, so that farmers can get paid per ton of carbon they sequester and can add a certificate to their yield and with that add value to their product. That way farmers get paid for how they produce.
That sounds like a dream come true. How difficult is it for a farmer to change their practises towards regenerative methods?
Up to now, there has been little financial incentive or support for farmers to transition to regenerative agriculture. We believe this is one of the reasons why farmers didn’t adapt these methods on a larger scale. As soon as farmers get compensated for that change, they will do it.
Why do you support the Farm & Food conference, what are your expectations from this event?
The conference offers a good mixture because many different influential stakeholders of the agricultural industry are here. Quite a number of farmers are here, actually. And Farm & Food puts people with different opinions at the discussion table which makes the conversation richer. Indigo fits in quite nicely which is why we decided to be a sponsor of this event.