Wide Open Agriculture (ASX: WOA) has inked a deal with Australia’s largest grain exporter CBH Group to develop and globally distribute carbon-neutral grain products.
The Western Australia-based company is focused on delivering regenerative food products to conscious consumers in Australia and South East Asia, particularly through its Dirty Clean Food website.
CBH, which is also WA-based and is 100% owned and controlled by local grain growers, is one of Australia’s leading grain organisations with end-to-end operations across grain storage, handling, transport, marketing and processing.
The grain exporter operates offices across Australia, Japan and Hong Kong and generated more than $4 billion in revenue last year.
Under the terms of a non-binding memorandum of understanding, the two companies will explore the feasibility of sourcing, certifying, marketing and distributing carbon-neutral oats, barley and lupins from WA.
An announcement today said the project will also consider the potential for regenerative farming practices to support this goal.
Carbon-neutral certified products will be a world first
If the project is successful, the duo believe it could lead to one of the world’s first “carbon-neutral certified” products for buyers seeking more sustainable grain products.
Wide Open Agriculture managing director Dr Ben Cole said the company plans to move towards carbon-neutral certification across all of its products.
“Developing grain products with a clear understanding of their environmental impact from farm-to-customer could provide new market access and potential premiums for growers,” he said.
CBH chief marketing and trading officer Jason Craig said Australian grain benefits from its strong reputation as a “clean and green” grain producer.
“We are also seeing growing demand for sustainably produced grain, so we look forward to working with Wide Open Agriculture to explore the market opportunity for carbon-neutral grain in the international marketplace,” he added.
The collaboration is expected to be executed in line with the 2020-2021 southern hemisphere grain growing season and has four main objectives.
Firstly, the companies will work with five leading WA grain growers to identify an available commercial-sized supply of oats, barley and lupins that meet carbon-neutral specifications.
The project will also investigate the potential processes and costs to providing certification support services, carbon reduction programs, regenerative farming transition support and carbon offsetting services.
The companies also need to determine the potential market opportunity, demand and price that CBH export customers could be willing to pay for this differentiated product.
The fourth objective focuses on facilitating a framework for positive environmental outcomes on-farm, alongside direct economic benefits for participating growers.
In today’s announcement, Wide Open Agriculture said it may progress to a commercialisation phase with CBH if both companies agree that certification, marketing and distribution of carbon-neutral and regeneratively grown grain is feasible.
Today’s news follows Wide Open Agriculture’s announcement last week that it has expanded the product offering on its Dirty Clean Food website after forming several new partnerships with other WA-based food producers.