Cattle Sold at Auction with Carbon Credits Represents New System for Food Production
Integrated Management Information, Inc. (IMI Global), a provider of verification solutions in the agricultural/livestock industry, today announced the first cattle sold at auction under the company’s new VerifiedGreen™ program — a verification system the company says is designed to reduce a ranch’s carbon footprint.
The cattle auction, which took place Monday on Superior Livestock Video in Winnemucca, Nev., featured animals assigned a specific number of carbon credits. Buyers of the cattle — typically feedyards — paid the owner, Mayfield Ranch of Hidalgo, N.M., one price for both the cattle purchased at auction and the carbon credits associated with the sustainable activities of the ranch.
Butch Mayfield, owner of Mayfield Ranch, said, “We are very excited to be participating in the carbon market with IMI Global and VerifiedGreen. It has been hard to determine the actual value of carbon credits, but this program ensures the benefit of our credits will stay in the beef industry and not be sold to benefit another industry. One group of the cattle we sold brought $1.36 per pound and topped the market that day, so we are very pleased with the results.”
The VerifiedGreen solution was developed by IMI Global to address sustainability programs such as the initiative recently introduced by Walmart, which will develop a Sustainability Product Index to encourage its suppliers to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and embrace environmentally sound production practices.
Under the VerifiedGreen program, farmers and ranchers who employ environmentally sustainable production processes can have their operations verified “green” by IMI Global’s auditors, making them eligible to market their animals with carbon credits attached.
The quantity of carbon credits attached to each calf is determined independently for each ranch based on the carbon sequestration rate of the land where the cattle were born and raised. The company expects the program to “appeal to forward-thinking producers who are both environmentally conscious and looking for a unique method of capturing value from the carbon market.”
“The benefit of marketing carbon credits attached to cattle or other commodities is that it simplifies the process for farmers and ranchers,” said John Saunders, CEO of IMI Global. “Instead of having to develop new markets and customers for the credits they have to sell, farmers and ranchers can provide additional value to their current customers already buying the cattle. As cattle move through the production process, subsequent owners will be able to “bank” these credits and offset their own emissions. Eventually, consumers who buy the sustainably produced food products at retail will be the primary drivers pulling these products through the process."
VerifiedGreen encourages farmers and ranchers to adopt, maintain and/or enhance environmentally sustainable production processes with reduced carbon output. These practices can include a wide variety of initiatives ranging from improving grazing programs that foster CO2 sequestration and forage quality to wind and solar energy systems; to earth-friendly feed; to biodigesters that recover methane from manure to reduce emissions and produce electricity, heat and hot water for operations. IMI Global’s role is to verify that its customers are implementing and sustaining such progressive practices, ensuring that the products they are producing are truly “green.”
Visit http://www.IMIGlobal.com for additional information.
— Adapted from a release provided by IMI Global.