Own the Grain, Control the Data
If handlers and processors can’t or won’t procure low-emissions grain from regenerative farmers, segregate it and track the data to help their buyers meet their commitments, what’s a brand to do?
There is room right now for a new independent ingredient company to take ownership of exclusively low-input grain crops and to manage data-tracking contractually. It could be the quickest way to unlock Scope 3 and ESG data, to supply markets for reporting progress on brand commitments.
Supply Chain Emissions Generation and Reduction
Consider once again emissions across the value chain within supply sheds for grain-based ingredients. Shipping distances matter to the calculation of the CO2 equivalent assigned at the retail level, but it’s not the biggest contributor to a brand’s final score.
Because of their reliance on fossil fuels in manufacturing, and tendency to escape from the field and pollute surrounding environments, agrochemicals are often the biggest contributor to total supply chain greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Fertilizer tends to show up as the most impactful area for reductions, once the potency of nitrous oxide is factored into carbon dioxide equivalency units.
To this end, governments are paying for better management and putting new taxes on emissions, while food brands seek to source low-emissions grain ingredients to demonstrate progress towards corporate goals. Connecting the dots back through industrial handling systems is a major challenge.
Enter: The Virtual Grain Company
First, it’s important to understand the reasons why grain handlers and processors hesitate to participate in tracking field-level GHG emissions in crop production.