★ Team 4B: How might we encourage stakeholders, including farmers and businesses, to improve soil management practices in collaboration with research?

Our prototype is a certification system for food products which makes consumers aware that the item is sources from climate sustainable UK farms. Currently farmland is a driving force of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, with Carbon Dioxide unable to naturally sequester into the constantly tilled soils, Nitrous Oxide being released due to the over-reliance of fertilisers, and methane being passively released from the huge livestock herds we manage. As of 2020, over 50% of the UK’s land area is used as farmland, either for growing crops, or rearing livestock. This makes the UK an important nation to begin pushing for climate sustainable soil initiatives.

SINC, standing for Soil INitiative for Climate, would approach sustainable soils from a top-down view. We would collaborate with companies that source their crops from the UK, and provide their farmers with a comprehensive framework to improve the climate sustainability of their farming practices.

Achieving a set amount of the recommended farming practice changes will allow a farm to become SINC certified. Once at least 75% of a suppliers food comes from SINC certified farms they can then advertise and sell their products with our SINC stamp. We hope that as this initiative grows the SINC certification will be seen by consumers as an important decision point when choosing a product, and as such companies will increasingly want to collaborate with us to ensure that their product can become certified. Over time we believe that SINC certification will elevate the UK’s agriculture sector into a world leader in climate sustainable soils.