Communications and Sustainability Director
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Anora will be this year buying 3.5 million kilograms of barley, which has been cultivated using regenerative farming measures. In total, Anora buys over 200 million kilos of barley. Regenerative farming is a set of cultivation methods that improves the soil health and biodiversity and enhances the sequestrating of carbon dioxide into the soil. In long-term the fields can transform from emission sources into carbon sinks.
The regeneratively farmed barley purchased by Anora comes from Finnish farms. Anora supports famers in the transition to regenerative farming by offering training on regenerative agriculture.
Three years ago, Anora began piloting regenerative farming with Baltic Sea Action Group and farmer Jari Eerola. Baltic Sea Action Group trained and advised on first stage of the transition to regenerative farming and also audited the implementation of the methods on the farm. The first year resulted in the production of 50,000 kilograms of carbon-farmed barley to the use of Koskenkorva Distillery. In 2022, two farmers joined the project, and 56,000 kilograms of carbon-farmed barley were used at Anora’s Koskenkorva Distillery.
This year, Anora has committed to buying a record amount of barley, approximately 3.5 million kilograms, from about 20 Finnish farmers transitioning to regenerative farming. Regenerative farming is a key part of Anora's Sustainability Roadmap; Anora aims to increase the amount of regeneratively farmed barley used in its own grain-spirit based products to 30% by 2030.
"We organised a training session with Baltic Sea Action Group and ProAgria in November, which enabled us to start collaborating with new, enthusiastic farmers. This is pioneering work that we are doing together. We believe that regenerative farming will become the new normal in the future. The improved soil health creates resilience to changing climate, more stable yields and enhances carbon sequestration", says Anora's grain purchasing manager Kari Kiltilä.
Carbon sinks are needed – benefits also farmers
Regenerative farming is a set of methods aimed at sequestering carbon in the soil. The most important methods include keeping the land covered in vegetation throughout the year, more diverse plant species, crop rotation, cautious and shallow soil tilling, and the use of organic fertilisers. Transitioning to regenerative farming benefits farmers through better soil quality and more reliable yields and better profitability. Regenerative farming also supports biodiversity both above and below the soil’s surface.
"In addition to reducing emissions, we need to build carbon sinks in order to mitigate climate change. Regenerative farming sequesters carbon from the atmosphere into the soil instead of releasing it during the farming process. We are strongly committed to regenerative farming, and Anora's – and the world’s – first product, Koskenkorva Vodka Climate Action, made fully from carbon-farmed barley is doing well in export markets. We hope that as many parties as possible will join us in promoting regenerative farming," says marketing director Suvi Reinikkala.