SFC news published since 2018. See SFC archived content for earlier news articles.

Professor Pete Smith from The University of Aberdeen was part of Research Project of the Year at the 2022 Herald Awards sponsored by SFC. One year on, he outlines how the project is doing in 2023.

The Cool Farm Tool (CFT) is an online decision-support tool, developed through a collaborative research project between researchers at the University of Aberdeen and industry partners. The tool is designed to empower farmers and companies to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, to protect soil, organic matter and fertility and reduce environmental impact from crop and livestock production.

The CFT continues to be developed by the Cool Farm Alliance, a not-for-profit member partnership of 130+ members that owns and operates the CFT. The Alliance brings together farmers, multinational food suppliers, retailers, consultants and NGOs on a global scale to address the carbon footprint of the global food chain. This has enabled large-scale uptake with 22,317 registered producers from 150 countries.

The Cool Farm Alliance has been working in partnership with Gold Standard, a network of international NGOs led by the World Wide Fund for Nature to design methodologies and projects utilising the CFT. The University of Aberdeen continues to work with Alliance members to develop tool functionality in response to users’ needs, including developing modules for rice and viniculture. The tool has been extended to perennial vine and tree crops such as coffee, cocoa and fruit such as apple and citrus.

The CFT provides a framework to support company sustainability targets: the global, generic and multi-metric design allowing for GHGs, water, biodiversity and food loss & waste assessments based on leading science is constantly being updated to reflect international guidelines. Costco Wholesalers used the Cool Farm Tool in a sustainable sourcing program with their entire U.S. supply base of organic eggs. These farmers achieved 14% reduction in GHG emissions in three years.

In 2021, NERC funding the supported a further extension to orchards (apples and citrus) and shrubs (coffee and cocoa) while a recent EU grant (2021-22), enabled expansion to viniculture, as part of the ‘Ecowinery’ project, which determined the environmental footprint for Cypriot grape production in which Aberdeen are project partners.