Agreena is a Danish start-up. It primarily makes, verifies and sells carbon credits generated by farmers who transition to more regenerative forms of farming. Now, what is this “regenerative farming”? There are quite some things to know before understanding the working of Agreena. Let’s get a context to it.
Farm with Regenerative Farming
Farming is the source of a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. In Europe, farming alone accounts for a whopping 24% of total emissions. Such numbers exist mainly because of the intensive farming methods employed in the last few decades, together with the rise in the consumption of meat.
Regenerative farming is a broad area of farming and will take more than a few lines to get a complete know-how. It is a new approach and is absolutely taking the farming world by storm. A short description of “Regenerative farming” would be the practice of handing unproductive land back to nature. As a result, it boosts wildlife and stores planet-killing CO2, literally using soil as a carbon sink.
The approach works by creating woodlands and restoring the peatlands. In this way, carbon can be captured while also stopping the decline in natural diversity, which is essential for things like bee pollination. In addition to that, regenerative farming fits into the new government subsidies, which are about focusing on the environment and CO2 emission, unlike older subsidies which focused on industrial farming.
Working of Agreena
Agreena is a very young start-up, with a launch date in the summer of 2021. The remarkable achievement here is that it has managed to raise a $4.7 million seed funding round led by Giant Ventures, along with the Danish government’s Danish Green Future Fund. The cherry on top is that a number of European farmers also participated.
Agreena says its platform provides farmers with an economic incentive to switch from traditional arable farming to regenerative agricultural methods. They do so by issuing them a “CO2e-certificate” which can be sold between farmers and potential buyers.
First, farmers register their fields and get advice on transitioning to regenerative practices. Agreena then monitors the changes via satellite imagery and soil verification. The farmers get the CO2e-certificates can then sell them independently or via Agreena’s marketplace to companies that want to buy the carbon offsets from the farmers. Buyers then track their sponsored CO2 reductions at a field level via Agreena’s platform.
The ecosystem surrounding Agreena
Agreena claims to have contracted more than 50,000 hectares in its first year, pre-selling more than 20% of their minted carbon offset certificates.
Like any other company, this start-up too is facing some competition in the space. The voluntary carbon market for agriculture includes U.S. scale-up Indigo (U.S. unicorn), Nori (U.S. & blockchain-focused) and U.K./France-based Soil Capital. But Agreena says it stands apart due to its vertically integrated carbon platform.
As a matter of fact, investors Giant Ventures came on board due to Agreena’s vertically integrated approach towards agricultural carbon offsets. They feel it is empathetic to the differences of the industry and incentives of farmers.
Simon Haldrup, Agreena CEO, said: “Our team consists of 30 professionals including carbon scientists, software developers, and commercial growth hackers. Agriculture has deep roots in Denmark, a historically proud farming nation, which is why the company was born here, but we are scaling across Europe and intend to expand globally.” Agreena was founded by Haldrup, Julie Koch Fahler and Ida Boesen.
Agreena also has the potential to be a dominant internet marketplace for facilitating online B2B commerce within farming.