Great Southern’s Oranje Tractor Farm leads the way to net zero future with carbon neutral wine
It may be in the name, but you won’t find many emission-producing tractors at Marbelup’s Oranje Tractor Farms, believed to be the Great Southern’s first carbon-positive business.
While the Australian Government inches towards a goal of net zero emissions by 2050, Oranje Tractor Wines owners Murray Gomm and Pam Lincoln have been on a mission to become carbon neutral for more than a decade.
Since achieving organic certification in 2006 and years of implementing regenerative farming processes the duo now sequester six times more carbon dioxide and equivalents in the farm than their vineyard emits.
A Landcare Australia carbon accounting process last year found vegetation on the 20ha farm sequesters 8.5 tonnes of CO2 while the vineyard emits only 1.4 tonnes.
The status was recently verified by Curtin University professor of sustainability Dr Peter Newman.
“As a micro-business we couldn’t afford the $5000-$8000 to validate and accredit the carbon accounting process,” Mr Gomm said.
“Instead, we asked Peter Newman, professor of sustainability at Curtin University to visit and he duly signed off our Net Zero Now status.”
Mr Gomm said they didn’t need to purchase any carbon offsets because they had implemented a range of organic and regenerative practices to “allow natural ecosystems to flourish”.
“If you let it, nature will increase soil fertility, water retention, produce healthy plants that are more resilient against pests and diseases, weeds are sent packing and you can keep your input costs down and remain viable,” he said.
“We are carbon-positive because we don’t purchase synthetic fungicides, pesticides and water-soluble fertiliser.
“We are here to regenerate our small patch of the planet, not strip-mine it for a quick buck.”
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