Helping Agriculture Become A Climate Change Solution with OpenTEAM
At Stonyfield, we have a long held commitment to reducing our impact on climate change. We were pioneers in conducting lifecycle analysis to understand where all of our emissions come from, so we figured out pretty early on that over half of our emissions come from agriculture. This means that if we’re serious about reducing our impact on climate change, we need to work with the farms we source from to help them reduce their emissions too.
Reducing emissions from farms is tricky. Every farm has a unique combination of soil types, weather, and production practices, so there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to reducing farm emissions. The good news, though, is that we know there is tremendous potential for farms to pull CO2 out of the atmosphere and store it in the soil by improving soil health.
This is why we’re teaming up with our friends at Wolfe’s Neck Center, Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, and LandPKS to launch OpenTEAM. OpenTEAM is an innovative new software platform that offers farmers fast, easy access to more accurate recommendations on the specific things they can do to improve soil health on their farm.
Farmers currently have access to a range of tools that assist with improving soil health, but it can be time-consuming and cumbersome for farmers and companies like Stonyfield to access the advice, measurement, and monitoring tools they need. OpenTEAM solves these challenges, making what was once a complicated process more accessible and user-friendly.
Today we know that agriculture is the source of about 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions. We have the opportunity to flip that around, and turn agriculture into a potent tool for fighting climate change through storing more carbon in the soil. OpenTEAM will give farmers access to the tools they need to become a part of this solution.
The research activities for OpenTEAM will be centered at WNC’s working organic dairy farm in Freeport, Maine. Once the software platform is fully developed, it will be tested in 2020 by 10-15 Hub Farms, selected to represent a diversity of farm types, sizes, geographies, and supply chains. We plan to start by testing out OpenTEAM with a few of our farms in the next two years, and start encouraging our farmers to use it more broadly once the tools have been thoroughly tested. But we don’t want to stop there – together with our collaborators, our vision is to create a global network of farms that are using OpenTEAM to improve soil health and fight climate change.