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Bucharest, Romania - November 27, 2019: View of Microsoft Romania headquarters in City Gate Towers situated in Free Press Square, in Bucharest, Romania.
Image credit: lcva2 / iStock

BRIEF: Microsoft to purchase up to $2m in carbon credits from Land O’Lakes

February 8, 2021

  • Truterra, a sustainability-focused subsidiary of US farmer cooperative Land O’Lakes, has agreed to sell carbon credits worth up to $2 million to tech giant Microsoft, which is aiming to become ‘carbon neutral’ by 2030.
  • The deal covers the equivalent of 100,000 metric tons of carbon sequestered by Land O’Lakes corn, cotton, soybean, and wheat farmers.
  • It’s the first sale announced under TruCarbon, the new carbon credits trading program launched by Truterra and the Soil Health Institute.

Why it matters:

Several agrifood sector players have launched carbon credits schemes in recent months, driven by increasingly eco-conscious end consumers and governments – as well as major companies keen to offset their own emissions.

Land O’Lakes claims TruCarbon is the first farmer-owned carbon credits scheme to enter the market.

“TruCarbon is providing farmers new opportunities to be recognized and rewarded for their stewardship, creating new revenue opportunities […] as they adopt soil health practices,” said Land O’Lakes CEO Beth Ford.

“It’s through innovative approaches such as TruCarbon that our [co-op] can help ensure that farmers’ businesses are profitable, our rural communities are resilient, and the land, air, and water are healthy for future generations.”

Beyond this particular deal — which is expected to pay out to participating growers later this year — Land O’Lakes farmers may be eligible for retroactive compensation based on soil health practices they adopted in past growing seasons.

The Minnesotan co-op announced a partnership with Microsoft last year to develop agtech innovations around supply chain logistics, sustainability, and rural internet connectivity.

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