You can eat climate change. What?
Well, 2020 has definitely been interesting. We’re about to move on into a new year full of hope, dreams and of course - new resolutions. Being and doing better for the planet has been on the world’s agenda for a while, so it’s no surprise that more and more companies are here to do exactly that.
One way of doing this is closely related to what we eat. We’ve had a chat with Nick, Head of Climate Farmers Academy at Climate Farmers, to hear all about something called regenerative agriculture and how we can be part of the change.
Hey Nick! Thanks for doing this. Could you tell us a bit more about the industry in which Climate Farmers operates? 🥬
The big field we operate in is called regenerative agriculture. This means that we go a step further than being sustainable, so keeping things as they are. We’re trying to actually make the soil better than it was before. It also has huge implications for biodiversity, water quality, soil structure and the long term viability of farms that practice regenerative agriculture. The great thing is with these practices, every year the farmers build more soil, build more fertility. So you could say every year it gets better, which is important in an era where desertification is an important issue worldwide. This way of farming also doesn’t use insecticides and pesticides, so it’s a much healthier alternative for the consumer too.
How did this adventure start? What’s Climate Farmer’s story? 🚀
The founders have been working in many sustainable projects before, like the Ashoka Changemaker. That’s where they met and started wondering: what can we do to make a really big influence on the climate and the planet as a whole? They realized that wrong industrial practices are one of the key issues we face nowadays, and that this would be a great place to start making a change. Farmers also love their land and want to do something good. If we can change the way we do agriculture, we can really change a lot of things, and eventually - reverse climate change.
A big part of building soil fertility happens by storing carbon in the ground. So the plants get carbon from the atmosphere, and then produce their own bodies but also give a lot of the material that they get into the ground. The founders realized that by using these practices, we can store a lot of carbon in the ground.
That was the starting point - from then on, they set to support farmers in their efforts for regenerative farming, because they’re not getting any additional money for the services they’re doing for biodiversity and storing carbon in the ground.
What’s the ultimate goal? 🎯
The dream is that one day, all farms globally use regenerative farming. But you know, you gotta start somewhere. We are now working with farmers who are already using these practices. We're showcasing their work and building a community so they can connect with each other. They can exchange best practices, In the long run, we also want to support farmers who at the moment are not necessarily using these practices, but who would like to, and offer them support: knowledge and financial incentives.
Has the current situation had an impact on your start-up? 🦠
For the farmers we already have on our platform it’s actually been a better time than usual. During the past year, we’ve seen what the potential problems are when it comes to global supply chains, how dependent we were on some systems. Some people did not want to go to supermarkets again, or stuff wasn’t available. So yeah, times like these bring out the importance of your local farmers - they’re close by and provide high quality food. Their demand increased, so we’re happy for that perspective.
As for the impact on Climate Farmers, we were born as a remote company - we’ve made this happen, and then we met in person. So we were already used to working from home and making stuff happen this way, which means we were also not heavily impacted, fortunately.
How could the bunq community contribute to your cause and eventually reverse climate change? 🌈
If the bunq community would like to support us personally, then they’re of course welcome to check out our website and see if they can find farmers nearby to buy produce from them. They can also follow our social media channels. But for us, this is a lot bigger, so my biggest advice would be to find farmers near you and talk to them about regenerative agriculture. Many people don’t know its potential regarding climate change but also nutritious, real food. If this becomes big, then we can make such a difference together. Spreading the word is ultimately the most important thing.
Alright, let’s end on a positive note! What’s your motivation to get out of bed in the morning? 🙌
I think the biggest driver is knowing that we're doing something that has a big impact. There are a lot of things and initiatives trying to store carbon somewhere. But this is not just storing it somewhere, it's actually turning it into food. Our motto is eat climate change and enabling people to do that and seeing the gratification from farmers who are working with us is probably one of the best motivations that one could have.
Thanks, Nick! That was great. ❤️
If you’d like to help Climate Farmers make a change, you can learn more about them here. Let’s eat climate change together!