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 100% of end-to-end emissions have been offset within the farms where the animals were raised.

We are using whole-of-farm thinking to reimagine the traditionally unproductive land into something of real value and positive benefit.

Silver Fern Farms are supporting and incentivizing our farmers to protect, restore and add to the amount of native bush and tree plantings – gullies, fence lines, summer shade and shelter belts, so that our farm environments are better able to capture carbon, and become more biodiverse. This approach is our way of supporting and encouraging our farmers to care for the land.

What is ‘Net Carbon Zero’? 

'Net Carbon Zero’ means that the total emissions generated by each pound of product, are independently measured and certified, right throughout the whole life of the product.

To achieve and maintain our Net Carbon Zero certification, for every pound of product sold, the equivalent amount of emissions need to be removed by vegetation occurring on the group of farms that supply the product.


Certification Consumers
Can Trust

USDA Logo
Toitu Net Carbon Zero Certification Logo

We have labelling approval from the USDA on our Net Carbon Zero claims. In New Zealand, our Net Carbon Zero certification, is independently certified by Toitū Envirocare and is based on the British Standards institute measure called PAS2050, which is also similar to the International Standards Organization ISO14067 product standard.

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 disposes of packaging of the product. Using satellite technology and machine learning we then identify on-farm permanent vegetation that is absorbing the equivalent amount of Carbon Dioxide from the atmosphere.

We then contract and purchase this carbon from farmers to account for all of the emissions associated with the meat produced within the program. This not only rewards our farmers for their strong environmental management practices, it also highlights the benefits of Grass-Fed beef from New Zealand.


Net Carbon Zero Emissions Profile Infographic

Whole-Of-Farm 
Thinking

Whole-of-farm thinking is not just about offsetting emissions but creating farm environments that are better able to capture carbon and are more biodiverse. It’s about transforming traditionally unproductive farmland into something of real value and positive benefit.

This process is supporting and incentivizing 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. The result is care you can trust and taste.

Net Carbon Zero Emissions Profile Infographic

Emissions

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 Angus beef programme that 96% of the emissions from a lb/kg 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.
 

Sequestration

Woody vegetation sequesters carbon, which helps to “offset” greenhouse gas emissions. Our farming systems both emit and sequester, which is a unique self-contained solution (as opposed to buying credits from pine forests for example).


 




Frequently Asked Questions


'Net Carbon Zero' means that the total emissions generated by each kilogram of product, are independently measured and certified, right throughout the whole life of the product.

To achieve and maintain our Net Carbon Zero certification, for every kilogram of product sold, the equivalent amount of emissions needs to be removed by vegetation occurring on the farms that supply the product. We are also required to actively work across our supply chain to reduce emissions over time.

The total emissions generated by each pound/kilogram of product were independently measured and certified across the whole life of the product, from farm to the consumers plate in the USA, including disposal of the packaging.

Yes, and our measurements are undertaken and verified by an independent party. They cover the whole life and care of our products end-to-end including from farm, processing, shipping, right to the consumers home, including disposal of packaging.

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

We use independently certified and approved methodology to remotely identify the type and age of vegetation occurring on our suppliers’ farms. We then work with our farmers to ground truth the data and finalise how much equivalent CO² is being removed every year by that vegetation.

We then contract and purchase this carbon from farmers to match the emissions from the meat produced within the program. This rewards our farmers for their environmental management practices, incentivises additional planting and highlights the benefit of Grass-Fed beef from New Zealand.

Not at all, Angus Beef is our premium beef program and as with all our products, the animals are raised with a light touch. Our beef has a superior 100% Grass-Fed taste and texture every time.

The Net Carbon Zero Angus Beef range is a premium product underpinned by a commitment that 100% of that premium goes back to rewarding and incentivising farmers for their current and future on-farm carbon sequestration.

No. We will supply Net Carbon Zero Angus beef alongside our other ranges, our intention is to work with an ever-increasing number of our suppliers to reduce emissions over time and provide strong incentives to care for vegetation on their farms that helps to fight climate change.

We believe that by requiring our participating farms to locally 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 authentically incentivises sustainable practice on farm.

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) is a type of offsetting, but instead of investing in just any project, in-setting invests in projects that remove the equivalent amount of CO² within a defined boundary of where the activity took place or in our case, only from where the product came from.

Learn more about our commitment to climate change and sustainability here.

Our certification for a net carbon zero product relies on us being able to manage all of our emissions and removals within the lifecycle of the product. We believe that by requiring our participating farms to locally match the product’s own emissions with carbon absorbing vegetation on their own farms. As a result, we then deliver a product that authentically incentivizes sustainable practice on farm now and into the future.


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