Wednesday, November 7, 2012

New Labeling Initiative Seeks to Promote Biochar-Grown Food

A new, Kansas-based initiative has been launched called "Cool-Food," which aims to institute a carbon smart food labeling system based on utilization of biochar.  Farmers seeking to use the label to differentiate their food must meet seven qualifications:

  1. A minimum amount of biochar per acre must be added to their farmland.
  2. A Farmer's Stewardship Pledge must be signed.
  3. A mineral soil test must be conducted.
  4. An organic carbon soil test must be conducted.
  5. A soil biology assessment must be carried out.
  6. A soil management plan must be developed.
  7. Sustainable marketing practices must be followed.
In addition to trademarking a Cool-Food logo for use in labeling, project proponents also intend to develop a Standards & Practices guide as well as a Grower's Manual to assist local farmers.  Outreach is already underway, and organizers hope to roll out the program next summer in Lawrence (home of the University of Kansas).  Backers of the project plan to apply for a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) grant.

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