The investment further builds on the existing partnership between the two businesses – to date, Agricarbon has been operating a large-scale pilot in partnership with First Milk and Nestlé to build an extensive and robust soil carbon baseline for the First Milk farms involved.
The pilot covers more than 7,000 hectares of land and incorporates data from 40,000 soil samples, making it one of the largest datasets of real-world soil carbon measurements in the world.
Commenting on the announcement, First Milk chief executive Shelagh Hancock, said: “Our investment in Agricarbon will help it scale faster, allowing it to rapidly accelerate its ambitious growth plans.
“It will also further strengthen our position in dairy sustainability, helping us to demonstrate that our dairy farmer members can be part of the solution to the climate crisis through good soil management.”
First Milk has committed to achieving net zero by 2040 at the latest as part of its First4Milk Sustainability programme, as well as sequestering an additional 100,000 tonnes of carbon per year through the adoption of regenerative agricultural practices by its members.
Essential to sustainability strategy
“Having robust, scientifically validated data to establish an accurate soil carbon baseline, and monitor future changes, is essential to the delivery of this strategy and by working with Agricarbon we are already leading the way globally in this area,” Hancock added.
Annie Leeson, co-founder and chief executive of Agricarbon, said the support of business like First Milk was invaluable for businesses like hers.
“Their investment will allow us to expand our service to the wider farming industry and meet rapidly building demand for affordable, decision-grade data on carbon stock and soil carbon sequestration, unlocking the potential for sustainably managed soils to offer a major new natural climate solution.”
Meanwhile, North Yorkshire-based Black Sheep Brewery has signed a three year deal with biogas producer Warrens Group, as it moves closer to producing beer using renewable energy.