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Reducing Emissions at the Farm Level: Organic Valley Climate-Smart Commodities Grant


By Justin Overdevest


Organic Valley is a farmer-owned cooperative founded in 1988. As pioneers in organic farming, Organic Valley farmer members are at the forefront of implementing important climate-smart practices.

In April 2023, Organic Valley was awarded a $25 million United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Partnership for Climate-Smart Commodities grant to reduce greenhouse gas emissions within their value chain. This grant funding will catalyze the implementation of additional farm-level projects, including agroforestry, solar energy, improved manure management, and enteric-methane-reducing organic supplements.

The five-year project will help Organic Valley rapidly scale its Carbon Insetting Program and work toward its goals of reducing emissions by 30% by 2035 and becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

In addition to the benefits of farm-level projects across Organic Valley’s dairy and egg membership, this funding is also helping to develop market recognition and pathways for further climate action. As an alternative to carbon offsets and credits, which are widely available in voluntary and compliance markets, Organic Valley is developing rigorous methodologies and validation systems to develop insets within its own value chain (this is different than voluntary carbon credits that take place outside of the value chain). These insets, or verified impact units, will demonstrate the measurement, monitoring, reporting, and verification (MMRV) needed to prove their legitimacy and value.

This work is happening in partnership with SustainCERT, which specializes in climate impact verification and will provide third-party validation to the project. Rather than selling credits externally on the market, this insetting approach will generate verified impact unit credits available to value chain partners via co-investment.

Good Company, a Division of Parametrix has supported Organic Valley on its climate action journey since 2019, with the development of a greenhouse gas inventory and CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) climate risk disclosure reporting.

Our role includes serving on the program management team for the USDA grant award, while also providing technical expertise as it relates to the development of the emerging protocols for greenhouse gas reductions and removals, MMRV methodologies and systems, interfacing the greenhouse gas inventory with farm-level interventions, and ensuring that the work on the ground leads ultimately to the performance gains on goal setting.

Our team is thrilled to continue supporting Organic Valley as they implement this groundbreaking project.

About the Author

Just Overdevest headshot
Senior Planner

Justin overdevest

Justin has over 20 years of experience working on projects that meet human needs. He specialized in climate action, risk and adaptation, and reporting.

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