Assembly of European Horticultural Regions

EU projects

NOVASOIL and the CO2 Land case study

 “CO2-Land” is a newly established carbon farming initiative in south-western Germany

AREFLH is a partner of the NOVASOIL project (Innovative Business models for soil health). Its general objective is to highlight the benefits of investments in soil health for society and the environment.


 “CO2-Land” is a newly established carbon farming initiative in south-western Germany offering carbon credit certificates enabled by carbon sequestration on partner farms. The case study will focus on learning from experiences in the initiative by exploring success factors to foster similar projects across Europe, facilitating potential upscaling of the concept.  

 “CO2-Land” aims to identify success factors of the initiative in order to implement similar models across Europe. This includes the creation of a network with similar projects to exchange knowledge and generate ways for funding especially in the initial phase. Strategies will also be collected to expand the initiatives to new soil health products. At the same time, the acceptance of this concept among different stakeholders such as the farmer, society or potential buyers will be determined. 


The CO2-Land initiatives aim to make a significant contribution to climate protection by using scientifically proven methods to create the CO2 sinks in arable soils and make soils more resilient with regard to climate change and their ecological functions. In order to achieve these goals, it networks with actors from politics and industry to provide information about these potentials and to win customers for the purchase of climate certificates. These are offset by farmers who, in return, commit to continuously increasing the organic carbon content of their soils. With the proceeds from the sale of the certificates, the farmers are then (partially) compensated for their additional efforts. Considering that the agriculture has a very special role to play in the fight against climate change. Unlike other sectors that can only reduce or offset their CO2 emissions, agriculture is the only sector capable of removing CO2 from the atmosphere. By increasing the humus content of soils, carbon is removed from the atmosphere and absorbed into the soil. In order to increase the humus content of the soil, targeted measures such as the cultivation of catch crops or plow-less tillage necessary.  

Potential inhibitors: 
  • Costs for the farmer (only partially compensated by the certificates); 
  • Manage and finance the critical initial phase;   
  • Crop management restrictions: 
  • to build up humus a certain crop rotation strategy has to be followed, which cannot always be reconciled with the farm context;
  • to reduced tillage can increase weed pressure.  
Potential enablers:  
  • Social awareness (interested in high quality and health products), farmers responding to this with more environmentally friendly production  
  • Existing farmer networks and policies.  
Potential stakeholders  
  • Any kind of company seeking to offset its CO2 footprint   
  • Consumers interested in private CO2 certificates  
  • Citizens benefiting from soil-friendly agriculture production in their vicinity.   


Know more about Novasoil


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement n°101091268


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