Will Farmers Get Paid for their Carbon Offsets?

The Farmers of North America Strategic Agriculture Institute (FNA-STAG) and the Agriculture Producers
Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) are concerned about the regulations being developed for the Carbon
Credit Market in Saskatchewan. Are Saskatchewan’s farmers going to realize the real value for the work being
done to sequester carbon on their farms?
“If Producers want to fully participate in the carbon credit system in Saskatchewan, they’re going to have to
speak up and let the Government know right now – especially if they want to see a reasonable revenue stream as
experienced by farmers in other jurisdictions,” says Bob Friesen, CEO of FNA-STAG. “We need to talk about
what regulation should look like, why it’s important to get out of the gate quickly once the regulations are
implemented, and how we can make that happen”.
The opportunities for farmers come from the carbon they sequester in the ground from no-till production
practices. This carbon sequestration would create “credits” that can be sold in places where there is a market
for them. For example, the Alberta market allows farmers to sell the offsets they create, and have been getting
paid up to $13.00 a tonne. Although the regulations are evolving, Alberta farmers are still able to sell offsets
retroactive to 2002.
In Saskatchewan, the Government is currently drafting regulations that will establish the rules for buying and
selling carbon offsets, including who might be best positioned to provide those carbon offsets. “There is a
huge concern for APAS, FNA-STAG and other groups in the province that want farmers to be able to get full
value from what they do and to sell their offsets in a secure and regulated market,” says Greg Marshall,
President of APAS. “Why not let large industrial emitters pay farmers for the service that farmers provide to
the environment as solution providers?”
FNA-STAG and APAS are holding several town-hall meetings in Saskatchewan to raise awareness amongst
farmers about Carbon Credit trading and the importance of a fair and transparent mechanism to measure and
value carbon offsets. FNA is already active in the carbon credit market in Alberta, recently making a large
payment to farmer-members in its carbon trading program. “We need to make sure the Saskatchewan
regulations provide at the very least the same opportunity to farmers here”, says Friesen. The farmers that
participated in this first project started working with FNA in October and had their payments by the first of
January.
The town-hall meetings will feature presentations on the Alberta model as well as a look at potential programs
for Saskatchewan, and whether the contribution that farmers make to the environment is being recognized in the
proposed regulations. “We fully understand that Saskatchewan Environment can’t comment on draft regulations
that are before the Minister. However, we have invited them to attend to hear what farmers have to say,” reports
Marshall. Saskatchewan Environment has expressed interest in attending at least some of the meetings. Meetings will be held in Kipling & Melville on February 14, Davidson and Kindersley on February 15 and
Swift Current and Moose Jaw on February 16. More details on times and locations are available on the FNASTAG website at www.fnastrategicag.ca and the APAS website at www.apas.ca
In addition to a discussion on a Saskatchewan carbon credit trading system, APAS and FNA also want to talk
about other issues such as agriculture policy and regulatory development, and the concern uppermost on most
farmers’ minds as spring approaches – that of escalating input costs.
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Farmers of North America Strategic Agriculture Institute (FNA-STAG) is a not-for-profit organization with the
single mission of “Improving Farm Profitability.”
Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) is Saskatchewan’s general farm organization
formed to provide farmers and ranchers with a democratically elected, grassroots, non-partisan producer
organization based on rural municipal boundaries. As the united voice of thousands of agricultural producers in
Saskatchewan, we strive to represent the views of a wide variety of agricultural stakeholders in order to form
comprehensive policies that can benefit all sectors of society.
Meeting Details
Kipling
• Kipling Community Center
• February 14, 1:30 p.m.
Melville
• Prince William Hotel
• February 14, 7:00 p.m.
Davidson
• Davidson Community Center
• February 15, 1:30 p.m.
Eston
• Community Complex
• February 15, 7:00 p.m.
Swift Current
• Royal Canadian Legion Hall
• February 16, 1:30 p.m.
Moose Jaw
• Heritage Inn
• February 16, 7:00 p.m.
For more information contact:
FNA-STAG
Bob Friesen, CEO: (613) 230-2222 / (613) 852-9711
APAS
Greg Marshall, President (306) 789-7774 ext 151 / 306-570-5959