The European Commission will propose a framework which will allow for the certification of carbon sequestration, including that sequestered by farmers in soil, trees and in the products they produce, according to head of unit at the Commission’s Directorate-General for Climate Action Christian Holzleitner.

Holzleitner said this will enable farmers to secure “additional value” for the carbon credentials of their produce, something he said is being sought after by European consumers, and therefore, other entities along the supply chain.

The Brussels representative made the comments at the Irish Farmers Journal Future of Europe conference on Friday.

Consumer sentiment

Holzleitner said food companies are “very interested to show consumers that what [they] do isn’t bad for the climate [and] maybe even positive for the climate” and described how if farmers can demonstrate this, there is value to be gained for their produce.

He said the Commission’s certification framework would “credibly measure” how much carbon is being sequestered by farmers, for how long and how sustainable this is.

He said this measurement and certification will be applied to carbon stored in forests, soils and in farm produce, meaning that the carbon sequestered in a growing barley field would be accounted for.

Read more Future of Europe coverage here.