Leading UK food producer, Cranswick plc, has partnered with groundbreaking AI ag-tech startup, AgriSound, to develop its own technology verified Carbon Insetting Scheme that will enable the company to achieve Net Zero by 2040, purely through environmental improvements to its internal processes, not via the increasingly discredited corporate norm – purchasing carbon credits from offsetting schemes.

Carbon Insetting is the process of integrating nature-based solutions within a company supply chain in order to reduce the amount of carbon emitted and AgriSound’s groundbreaking bioacoustics listening technology will be central to the success of Cranswick’s scheme. The AI ag-tech specialist’s Polly listening device will play a fundamental role in enabling Cranswick to statistically verify the quality of its insetting activity. 

The development of this new approach to achieving Net Zero comes at a most appropriate time – when traditional carbon offsetting schemes are facing increasing scrutiny amidst greenwashing accusations, prompting this need for more transparent and effective ‘at source’ solutions.  

And it really will be a win-win for all concerned – underscoring a commitment to commercial innovation too, a key strand of this dynamic Carbon Insetting Scheme will be the strategic creation of additional revenue streams for Cranswick’s production supply chain. Its farmers will be financially incentivised to enhance biodiversity by default. In a time of financial uncertainty, Cranswick’s producer base will receive payments for planting wildflowers and flower-rich grasses to bolster habitats’ biodiversity and boost healthier soil production. Expert agronomy company, H.L. Hutchinson Ltd., is on board to provide the soil carbon mapping. 

Originally associated with expertise in providing accurate real-time data on pollinator abundance for precision pollination to help increase crop yield, AgriSound has been continually developing further bespoke AI algorithms so its Polly listening devices can monitor and provide vital data for an ever-increasing variety of creatures and insects in addition to more traditional pollinators.  

Successfully securing a grant of more than £362K from Innovate UK for the Cranswick project will enable AgriSound to go even further. The funding will enable AgriSound to develop and deliver multiple new bioacoustic AI algorithms for key indicator species including hoverflies, butterflies, and moths, as well as honeybees and bumblebees. AgriSound will also incorporate open-access birdsong algorithms. All will deliver real-time data made easily available to Cranswick and its farmers via sophisticated, yet simple data management platforms on desktop and mobile app.  

Casey Woodward, founder and CEO of AgriSound, said about the scheme: “We see Cranswick’s Carbon Insetting Scheme as having all the makings of a gamechanger for an industry under increasing pressure to meet Net Zero commitments and we are excited that our expertise in providing verified real-time data on insect health and activity will be fundamental to the success of the project. 

 “As well as helping significantly improving biodiversity on its farms and ultimately providing increased income for its producers, the scheme is set to be an industry leader in using nature-based solutions and ag-tech data to prioritise the environment. So, the planet wins too – which has to be the ultimate aim.” 

Balancing financial incentives with rapid adoption to ensure scalability and long-term viability, Cranswick will share the blueprint for its Carbon Insetting Scheme (CCIS) with the wider agri-food industry, creating a legacy that will be critical in driving environmental gains and a significant commercial opportunity for the technology providers.  

Cranswick said: “We have already made significant progress in reducing carbon emissions in our supply chain, but we wanted to really accelerate change from within. We’re committed to ensuring this collaborative project will be able to verify the reduced carbon emissions within Cranswick’s agricultural supply chain, quantifying improvements in biodiversity, while at the same time financially rewarding our producers for their environmental efforts.  

“We are determined that by being able to verifiably demonstrate our leveraging of nature-based solutions, this Carbon Insetting Scheme will keep us solidly on track to zero carbon emissions by 2040. And by sharing the blueprint for the scheme within the wider agri-food industry, we hope to set a new standard for the adoption of sustainability within it.”