A new institute to help farmers produce more efficiently and an updated software ‘tool' that enables farming and food industries to calculate their carbon footprint are launched this week.
The Cool Farm Tool (CFT) was created by the University of Aberdeen in partnership with Unilever and the Sustainable Food Lab to guide farmers over their greenhouse gas emissions and to provide tips on how they might lessen their environmental impacts.
The computer-based tool - also aimed at processors and retailers with sustainability schemes - has already been successfully used by a number of market leaders including PepsiCo, Marks and Spencer and Costco.
CFT has also been widely piloted by farmers who have helped guide refinements and improvements of the updated version of CFT being launched this week.
The Cool Farm Institute is a new virtual organisation with the mission of helping farmers and those businesses they supply make informed on-farm decision to reduce their environmental impact.
Although in the first phase it will primarily serve as a vehicle to distribute and support the use of CFT, it will also collate data and case studies to provide advice on best environmental practice for farmers.