The Cool Soil Initiative (CSI), formed in 2018 with funding from Mars Petcare, Kellogg, and Food Agility CRC, Charles Sturt University with support from the Food Lab, has fast become one of Australia’s leading low-carbon sourcing programs for food and beverage companies seeking an outsized impact on their supply chain sustainability and ESG strategy. CSI provides its membership – presently made up of multi-national brands as well as grain processors, aggregators, and bulk handlers – with access to maize, corn, wheat, and canola grown with conservation ag practices such as no-till, livestock integration, and precision fertilizer application. Member organizations contribute directly to grassroots capacity building in New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland, through farmer technical assistance, administered through watershed-scale Farming System Groups that deliver trainings, field days, and individualized natural capital reports (courtesy of the Cool Farm Tool) to CSI farmers that highlight opportunities to maximize soil health, emissions reductions, and yields.
By combining GHG monitoring, reporting, and verification with technical service provision, Cool Soil caters to the interests of companies and farms of all sizes and types. It’s an all-in-one platform to advance climate-smart agriculture across Australia.
CSI continues to grow its corporate and farmer membership while also forging strategic partnerships with regenerative agriculture leaders, the latest example being a partnership with the Cool Farm Alliance to further customize the Cool Farm Tool – already a globally recognized environmental footprint calculator – for Australia’s unique soils, weather, and cropping systems.
You can learn more about the Cool Soil Initiative on its website. Read recent coverage of the Cool Soil Initiative in GreenBiz and the World Wide Fund for Nature’s (WWF) 2023 report, Reducing Greenhouse Gases with Incentives at the Farm.
For additional information on the Cool Soil Initiative, please reach out to Elizabeth Reaves, Sustainable Food Lab Senior Director, at [email protected]. For further reading on the Food Lab’s approach to scaling technical assistance for farmers, check out the Trusted Advisor Partnership [link to ND TAP page], a first-of-its kind public-private partnership model bringing site-specific soil health knowledge to farmers, crop advisors, and commodity buyers in the U.S. Northern Great Plains, Great Lakes, and Canadian Prairies.