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From September 12 to 14, Carbonapp France traveled to Montella, north of Naples, Italy, to participate in the Eurocastanea trade show, the European group of chestnut producers and their cooperatives and unions, to discuss the future of the sector in Europe.

It was in front of an impressive audience made up of farmers, processors, cooperatives of agricultural advisers, economists specializing in chestnuts, journalists, regional advisers and other professionals in the sector that Carbonapp was able to present its activity and establish itself as one of the sources of funding for the future of plantations on a long-term basis.

On the program: a reminder of the voluntary carbon contribution, the specifications of the French Low Carbon Label (LBC), the LBC Orchards method and its eligibility criteria, the co-benefits that chestnut groves would bring as well as development prospects of the Low Carbon Label.

Thanks to this presentation, Carbonapp was able to affirm its positioning and show all the concrete aspects of its mission. To date, Carbonapp represents 85% of orchard projects labeled low carbon by the Ministry of Ecological Transition. Carbonapp proves that it relies on recognized, officially and above all concrete methods with an average of 57 TeqCO2eq/Ha over 20 years and numerous co-benefits (permanent grass cover, biodiversity refuge, employment, etc.). All the projects labeled last winter were financed with a historically high price in France for the voluntary market, which is a good sign for the chestnut sector and future plantations. Contributors like this kind of projects with a local history that is rooted in its land.

An important moment of exchange for the chestnut sector in Europe which is facing budgetary impasses to finance plantations. "Consuming locally and reducing imports" is important both for the climate and to continue to have chestnut farmers in our territories. Concretely, this means planting new orchards to increase production, and with new varieties to deal with new diseases and climatic hazards. Carbonapp's intervention was mainly intended to democratize the real issues of the voluntary carbon contribution: it is possible to provide financial assistance on a voluntary basis by promoting the positive externalities of the chestnut grove for the climate and the environment. For this, it is necessary to meet specifications that commit producers over 20 years with an audit 5 years after planting to validate the carbon credits generated.

This alternative financing mechanism will ultimately revitalize the French fresh and processed chestnut industry and encourage the transition to agro-forestry and organic farming for producers who want to see beyond carbon. This French example has excited debates between the different countries which are mostly in a financial impasse for the planting of new orchards adapted to climatic hazards.

The Eurocastanéa network could consider, with the participation of Carbonapp and the scientific knowledge collected in each country, the creation of a European low-carbon method specific to the Eurocastanea chestnut grove. It would be inspired by the specifications of the Low Carbon Label for the certification of carbon credits, but with more precise and up-to-date data both on the plantation and on the management of existing orchards. Indeed, a chestnut grove can live for several hundred years and management is particularly important to continue to sequester ever more carbon in the biomass and in the soil in the long term. This method would make it possible to finance many virtuous and territorial projects throughout Europe. Today nothing is decided but awareness is gaining ground among European chestnut growers. It was even debated to make the carbon footprint of the next meetings which will take place in Austria, and will oblige a hundred actors to take the plane to meet. A possible way of compensation would be to finance the planting of new orchards at each event: the circle is complete.

Thanks to this event, new partnerships are already underway in France with technical institutes, chambers of agriculture and producer unions to finance new chestnut plantation projects in the winter of 2022-2023.


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