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Government deploys new livestock certification process to incentivize ranchers to raise new kind of beef — here's how it could transform agriculture

If more farmers adopt climate-friendly practices, it could profoundly impact people's health.

If more farmers adopt climate-friendly practices, it could profoundly impact people's health.

Photo Credit: iStock

Argentina is implementing a new certification process to raise climate-friendly beef. 

Few incentives exist for farmers to raise climate-friendly livestock, but this certification process, reported by Phys.org, aims to change that. 

Livestock production is a key contributor of polluting gases, accounting for 12% of global and two-thirds of agriculture's annual pollution, per the outlet. 

The certification is a collaboration between "Argentina's National Agricultural Technology Institute and National Industrial Technology Institute and the Argentinian private sector." Argentina is also using a third-party verification system, the International Environmental Product Declaration System. This new certification was approved earlier this year.

This certification system relies on silvopasture, which involves raising livestock in forests with native grasslands and pastures using agricultural technologies to produce higher forage yields. 

The trees and soil store the carbon, thus making the livestock carbon neutral and awarding the farmers a certification.

The incentive for farmers is to boost their income. They can raise prices with certification, as is the case with certified organic or fair-trade products. The catch is that consumers have to be willing to pay higher prices for carbon-neutral and climate-friendly products. 

Some studies show consumers are willing to pay more. The Sustainability, EV, and Convenience Retail Survey Report found that 71% of people chose products that followed sustainable practices, and this study found consumers would pay 12% more for them. 

If more farmers adopt climate-friendly practices, such as those encouraged by the Argentina certification process, it could profoundly impact people's health. 

Research done by NASA, Duke University, and Columbia University found that reducing polluting gases in the atmosphere and keeping rising temperatures below the 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit threshold would "prevent about 4.5 million premature deaths, 1.4 million hospitalizations, and emergency room visits, 300 million lost workdays, 1.7 million incidences of dementia, and 440 million tons of crop losses in the United States."

Implementing climate-friendly certifications like this is a win-win for consumers and businesses. Environmental policies can also create jobs. For instance, the Environmental Protection Agency's methane regulations could create 350,000 jobs to attend to abandoned gas and oil wells in Texas. 

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