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Net Carbon
Zero by Nature

'Net Carbon Zero by Nature' is New Zealand's first certified grass-fed, end-to-end Net Carbon Zero red meat, where the equivalent of 100% of end-to-end emissions have been absorbed by trees growing within the farms where the animals were raised. We are using whole-of farm thinking to utilise all woody vegetation on farms to provide positive benefit.​

Silver Fern Farms are supporting and incentivising our farmers to protect, restore and add to the amount of native bush and tree plantings – gullies, riparian areas, fence lines, summer shade and shelter belts, so that our farm environments are better able to capture carbon, and become more biodiverse. 

What is ‘Net Carbon Zero by Nature’? 

'Net Carbon Zero by Nature' means that the total emissions generated by each kilogram of product sold, need to be balanced to net zero, by actively growing permanent vegetation (removals) occurring on the group of farms that supply the product. ​

To achieve and maintain our Net Carbon Zero by Nature certification, these emissions and removals need to be independently measured and verified, from plate to pasture and we need to commit to reducing these emissions over time.​

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Certification Consumers
Can Trust

Our Net Carbon Zero by Nature beef and lamb range is a Toitū net carbonzero certified product. This means Silver Fern Farm range is verified to the International Standards Organization ISO 14067 product standard.​ Toitū Envirocare is Aotearoa New Zealand’s leading, independent climate performance certifier.

To enable us to do this, we measure all stages of product emissions from the birth of an animal right through to how a consumer, cooks the product and disposes of packaging.

To balance out those product emissions, we use satellite technology and machine learning to help us identify on-farm permanent vegetation that is absorbing the equivalent amount of Carbon Dioxide from the atmosphere. We contract and purchase this carbon from farmers to account for all of the emissions associated with the meat produced and being sold as Net Carbon Zero by Nature. This approach rewards our farmers, who as well as producing top quality beef and lamb, are actively caring for the land through their environmental management practices.

The Carbon Lifecycle Of Our
Beef & Lamb​

From pasture to your customers plate, we offset the entire carbon footprint on the farms where the animals are raised.​

Net Carbon Zero Emissions Profile Infographic
Net Carbon Zero Emissions Profile Infographic

* Percentage of total emissions per kg of beef & lamb were independently measured and certified across the whole life of the product.​

Carbon Footprint​

Our Beef and Lamb cuts are available in supermarkets nationwide and each pack includes its detailed carbon footprint. This is a full description of how much CO² it takes to produce each packet of beef or lamb and the emissions associated with each step from pasture to plate (even including the disposal of the packaging).​

Below are tables that show the emissions for a kilogram of Beef and a kilogram of Lamb:

Carbon Footprint Beef
Carbon Footprint Beef

Product footprint based on 2022 data 29.73kgCO2e/kg Beef and 17.27kgCO2e/kg Lamb. 
NB the values listed have been rounded to 2 and 1 decimal places, due to the rounding the total numbers may vary slightly when adding each column. All figures are correct as printed and have been independently verified by Toitū Envirocare.

Each of our Net Carbon Zero by Nature Beef and Lamb products carbon emission tables are on the Product pages. 


Whole-of-farm thinking is not just about accounting for, or focusing on reducing emissions, but creating farm environments that are better able to capture carbon and are more biodiverse. 

Our approach to producing a range of Net Carbon Zero by Nature products is to support and incentivise our farmers to protect, restore and add to the amount of native bush and tree plantings. It is a way of respecting and caring for the land that is reflected in the health and happiness of our animals. 

Net Carbon Zero Emissions Profile Infographic


Producing meat creates emissions - our farming systems emit greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous dioxide. We know from the lifecycle analysis of our products that most of the emissions from a kilogram of meat come from on farm. These are mostly due to naturally occurring biogenic greenhouse gases like methane that occur when ruminant animals turn grass into meat.​


Woody vegetation, and vegetation generally relies on Carbon Dioxide to grow – it removes it from the air around it and converts that into food to enable it to keep growing. Faster growing, healthy vegetation removes more Carbon Dioxide than slower growing, mature trees. 


Frequently Asked Questions

'Net Carbon Zero by Nature' is when emissions and removals (projects or activities that are directly linked to how the product is made, actively remove CO2 from the atmosphere) equate to a zero balance. It would be like when you have the same amount of money in cash or assets as you own in debt, you have a zero balance. To explain it another way, it’s when the Greenhouse gas emissions occurring in the production of each kilogram of meat are measured and balanced out by an equivalent amount of removals (created by woody vegetation growing on the farms that supply us). To achieve and maintain our certification these emissions and removals are independently measured and verified annually. Our certification also requires us to actively work across all areas of our business, to measure and reduce emissions over time.​

The total emissions generated by each kilogram of product are independently measured across the whole life of the product, from farm to the consumer’s plate.  This includes calculating the actual emissions of animals as they grow, from when they are born, to when they are killed. We collect real data from our supplying farms, the distance that farms are from our sites, all of the energy used in creating the product, the transport of product to store, cooling in the store, cooking, eating and disposal of the packaging at home. All of these measurements make up a product footprint report, that’s a key part of us being able to certify the exact amount of emissions associated with each kilogram of product. We do exactly the same thing for the trees occurring on the farms that supply the product, estimating how much carbon dioxide they are actively removing from the atmosphere each year.  We do this by understanding what kind of trees they are, how large an area it is and how old the trees are. We have trained software to recognize these areas on satellite maps of our farms, then our farmers check the maps to make sure our identification of the types of vegetation were correct. This methodology follows an International Standards Organisation (ISO) approach and while we collect the data, the reports are generated independently and then audited and verified by an independent auditor to enable Toitū Envirocare to issue a Net Carbon Zero by Nature product certification. 

Toitū Envirocare is New Zealand’s internationally recognized environmental certification organisation. It is wholly owned subsidiary of a New Zealand Government Crown Research Institute, Landcare Research. Toitū provide independent certification and verification of our Net Carbon Zero by Nature product, our processing emissions and our Environmental Management System.   

We use independently verified and approved methodology to remotely identify the type, age and size of vegetation occurring on our suppliers’ farms. We then work with our farmers to ground truth the data. Each farmer is required to check each area and approve whether it is included or not.  We then use internationally approved carbon accounting to assign a CO² absorption number to each one of those mapped vegetation areas. ​

We then legally contract and purchase this carbon dioxide, as a service from farmers, so that we can have enough CO² removals to match the emissions from the meat produced. This rewards our farmers for their environmental management practices, and by requiring farmers to use their carbon payments on their own farms for additional planting, predator control and Biodiversity enhancement work, we are enhancing on farm environments that wouldn’t have otherwise occurred or could happen faster because we are selling Net Carbon Zero by Nature product. ​

Not at all, for all our products the animals are raised with a light touch. Our beef and lamb has a superior Grass-Fed taste and texture every time.​

Our Silver Fern Farms Beef and Lamb branded retail products are Net Carbon Zero by Nature but our Venison, Pure Burgers and Honest Burgers are not. 

We believe that by requiring our participating farms to match the product’s emissions, rather than purchasing offsets outside of the products boundary (such as investing in a windfarm) we deliver a product that authenitcally incentivises sustainable farming practice.

Carbon offsets are a way to compensate for carbon emissions by investing in projects that cancel out the equivalent emissions of CO² from a certain activity. In-setting (or removals) recognises projects or natural sequestration occurring within the lifecycle of the product. For Silver Fern Farms that means not just investing in any project, but recognising and incentivising  woody vegetation that removes the equivalent amount of CO² within a defined boundary of where the activity took place, in our case, only from our supplier's farms.

Cattle, sheep and deer (ruminants) all produce biogenic methane emissions (mainly by burping) as they turn grass into energy that helps them grow or produce meat and milk.  Silver Fern Farms’ Net Carbon Zero by Nature products account for 100% of end-to-end emissions (including all those burps).  To ensure that we can work towards not just accounting for those emissions but actively reducing them, Silver Fern Farms is a partner with the New Zealand Government and other leading primary sector companies, in AgriZero.   A major initiative to find, develop and adopt real solutions to reduce the amount of methane each animal produces, without impacting on their welfare or the taste, quality or safety of the meat. Read more about the activities of here: AgriZero NZ

Yes, our Silver Fern Farms Net Carbon Zero by Nature Lamb and Beef packs, that are sold in supermarkets, include the full carbon footprint for the pack on the front of the packaging and the footprint is then broken down into each of the emissions stages in a table on the back. 

Click here to view our range, where you can then view the emissions tables on each individual product page.

Toitū Envirocare annually audit and certify our products. The emissions associated with each pack are independently calculated by AgResearch, every year, using the previous year’s real data.  We measure the vegetation occurring on the farms at least annually using the latest satellite data. If the carbon footprint changes, we will update our packaging and website as soon as we can after each certification is issued. 

Carbon Neutral can cover a smaller defined part of a business operations and typically accounts for CO2 emissions only, but not other greenhouse gases. It is often associated with an organization’s approach to managing emissions rather than a specific product certification. It can mean that a company has managed to reduce its actual emissions to zero without using offsets or removals, but there are very limited products or companies that are able to do that.

Net Carbon Zero by Nature means that a company reduces all greenhouse gas emissions across its supply chain, that it has accounted for all of these and has provided enough offsets or identified removals to give a net carbon zero balance.

The important part of any claim a company is making is that it has some form of independent measurement and ideally a recognized certification using an internationally accepted methodology for carbon accounting. 

Learn more about our commitment to climate innovation as part of our wider sustainability action plan, here.

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