The Cool Soil Initiative is a paddock to product partnership. We work with farmers through regional farming systems groups (FSGs) to test and validate management practices which can then mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on-farm and support the ongoing sustainability, productivity, and profitability of farming enterprises.
Working hand in hand with Aussie wheat farmers, this initiative will help farmers reduce their on-farm greenhouse gas emissions, all while protecting their most valuable asset - soil.
The farming groups Riverine Plains Inc. and Central West Farming Systems partnered with Mars Petcare to develop the Cool Soil Initiative, to quantify greenhouse gas emissions from wheat production and identify avenues to support farmers in reducing emissions, with a focus on soil health.
The project was coordinated by soil scientist Dr Cassandra Schefe, with technical support provided by the Sustainable Food Lab, an international organisation with experience in supporting effective sustainability projects across supply chains.
The Cool Soil Initiative grew with more cereal processors – Kellogg’s, Manildra Group and Allied Pinnacle joining the project, in partnership with Charles Sturt University and the Food Agility Cooperative Research Centre (CRC). The reach of farmer engagement also increased, with farming systems group FarmLink joining the program.
The program expanded further into the irrigated cropping sector in the MIA, with IREC becoming a partner farmer group. While the emphasis of the program is still on wheat production, partnership with irrigation farmers provides an opportunity to work with other crops, such as corn. Corporate farms are also connecting with the project, significantly increasing the geographical footprint across the cropping sector.