GLOBAL- Cargill and TREES Consulting, partnering on methane reduction measures, have announced the first Gold Standard-approved methane emissions reduction methodology for beef producers. 

According to Cargill, the groundbreaking methodology will help beef producers better understand the impact of feed supplements, enabling projects to measure and quantify the reduction of methane emissions.

Cargill noted that beef producers are leading the way toward the future of sustainable agriculture and hold the ability to mitigate methane emissions that address climate change. 

Thus, to recognize these efforts and enable reduction value to be quantified, Cargill partnered with TREES Consulting to develop a Gold Standard-approved beef methodology that offers the global beef industry a framework for measuring methane emissions reduction using feed supplements that have been incorporated into beef cattle diets, such as SilvAir.

We were thrilled to collaborate on the development of the methodology, which will provide the beef industry with an important framework for advancing methane reduction,” said Martin Gehrig, TREES Consulting. 

Gold Standard’s certification process allows climate and sustainable development initiatives to quantify, manage and maximize their impacts toward climate security and requires verifiable impact toward three or more of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

The new beef methodology defines a set of parameters that beef producers can adopt to quantify reductions in methane emissions, a greenhouse gas (GHG) that is derived from enteric fermentation in cattle through eructation (burping), as well as from manure handling. 

The new methodology is now available for beef producers worldwide to quantify, audit, and verify methane reductions, enabling them to register their GHG mitigation project for Gold Standard certification. 

Gold Standard’s Verified Emissions Reductions (VERs) can be traded in carbon markets, allowing credit purchasers to directly support the projects.  

Although methane emissions from the enteric fermentation of cattle are a normal occurrence, Cargill recognizes there’s an opportunity to reduce the intensity of methane, through its global animal nutrition business.

For beef producers who are adopting these technologies, the new methodology “Reducing Methane Emissions from Enteric Fermentation in Beef Cattle through Application of Feed Supplements” will enable them to accurately quantify the reduction of methane emissions and can provide them with opportunities to valorize their efforts.

We know that the industry is looking for more accurate tools to measure methane reduction,” said Joanne Sharpe, Cargill’s global ruminant sustainability lead. 

We are committed to finding ways to ensure they can be recognized and rewarded for their efforts. As part of our methane reduction priorities, this methodology is a key step toward opening new possibilities to reduce GHG emissions in the beef supply chain.”

According to Margaret Kim, CEO, of Gold Standard, changing agricultural practices can help reduce methane emissions, and this new methodology provides beef producers with a way to reliably measure the impact of those changes. 

Cargill’s support is helping pave the way for the animal agriculture industry to reduce methane emissions and complements Gold Standard’s other efforts to reduce the impact of agriculture on our planet – such as our recently published methodology which reduces the methane emitted by rice production,” Kim remarked.

In practice, projects using the new methodology first establish a baseline for emissions during “business as usual” activities for a minimum of three continuous years. 

The cattle given feed supplements must be clearly identified and tracked over the course of the project. 

The project crediting period is set at five years and can be renewed for an additional five years, excluding the baseline years.

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