5.6. How will you manage the release of carbon from the soil in case of a loss event?

We declare a ‘loss event’ when a release of carbon from the farm’s soils occurs. This will need to:

  • be caused by practices not used in the previous season (e.g. more intensive land preparation), except in the context of a transition to certified organic production;
  • be the result of management decisions and not weather events;
  • account for more than 5% of the emission reductions and sequestration achieved by you in the programme at that time.

If a loss event occurs:

  • Farmers will not have to return money already received;
  • Instead, a “buffer” is set up from the first year: 20% of generated certificates are placed in this buffer each year and cannot be sold;
  • In the event of a “loss event”, certificates from the buffer will be used to cover the carbon release;
  • The farmer will have to contribute the same number of certificates to the buffer again in future years before carbon payments resume;
  • If no losses are incurred, after 10 years the certificates in the buffer are sold and farmers will receive their payments.

5.5. Can I sell my carbon certificates myself?

No. The carbon certificates generated during the programme will be exclusively for sale via Soil Capital. Farmers are not allowed to sell or transfer carbon certificates to third parties but can refer potential buyers to Soil Capital.

5.4. Who will buy my carbon certificates?

Companies (both food and non-food companies) that want to support more responsible agriculture, whom we access through our sales partner South Pole. Companies with no supply chain link to farmers cannot use these certificates to offset their emissions; such companies cannot claim carbon neutrality through this mechanism. Our preference is to sell certificates to food companies; by buying your certificates, companies that also buy your crops can demonstrate that their supply chain emissions have been reduced.

5.3. Why do you withhold 20% of my certificates each year for 10 years?

We retain this percentage for 10 years in the buffer. The buffer serves as a mechanism to compensate for potential carbon losses (release) during the programme and to give reassurance on the permanence of carbon storage that your certificates represent to buyers. Each time a loss is confirmed during an audit, a corresponding number of certificates will be removed (cancelled) from the buffer to compensate for the loss. Certificates that are placed in the buffer will not be sold until the end of the 10th season after these certificates were generated.

5.2. What price are my Soil Capital Carbon certificates sold for / what will be my earning?

  • You will be paid a minimum of £23 per carbon certificate. This is the minimum price that Soil Capital commits to sell certificates at. In fact, we make a floor price commitment of €27.50 per certificate, which is £23 at a GBP-EUR exchange rate of 1.2; future prices are subject to the prevailing exchange rate at that time.
  • This price can increase during the course of the programme if the price of carbon certificates rises, as is forecast. Certificates are sold annually and we guarantee farmers the same fixed ratio of the final sales price for the entire duration of your commitment, based on the average price at the time of the sale of certificates each year.