Soil Liberation Front logo

Soil Liberation Front

Striving for less carbon in the air,

and more carbon in the soil.


Why? World-wide soils are degrading, and degraded soils release greenhouse gases, produce less food and need more external inputs. While these soils have the potential to store greenhouse gases, produce more food and need less external inputs. Agricultural practices that restore the soil (instead of depleting it), are referred to as regenerative agriculture. 


Soil liberation front was initiated as part of EIT Climate KIC, a European knowledge and innovation community supported by the European Union, during a 4-week intensive course called the Journey in 2020. With a group of six, we bundled forces to together disrupt the unsustainable system of land use and agriculture.

Soil Liberation Front Carbon Sucks Field Merel Witteman
Concept sign for fields of farmers that apply regenerative practices.

Did you know that soil has the potential to store more carbon than the atmosphere and vegetation combined?


The soil can store 1500 billion tonnes of carbon, while vegetation can only store 560 billion tonnes and the air 760 billion tonnes. 

the soil can store more carbon than the air and vegetation together Soil Liberation Front

Unfortunately, at this point our planet’s soils are releasing more greenhouse gases than they store. 


Bad practices degrade and destroy the soil structure, hereby releasing carbon and other greenhouse gases. Bad soil structure causes nitrogen from fertiliser to easily wash out. Besides, bad soil stimulates the formation of NOx emissions, which are 300 times stronger greenhouse gas than CO2 emissions. 

Currently soils release more carbon than they store, and this should change
Bad soil practice destroys soil structure and releases carbon
soil liberation front puts a halt to bad soil practices

By changing this, and putting a halt to bad soil practices, we can start storing carbon in the soil, and stop the release of greenhouse gases. But, where to start? How to do this? Who decides what happens with agricultural soil? Soil Liberation Front focuses on farmers as decision makers on what happens with land. We believe that farmers know how their land works, and what their soil needs. 

Farmer polyculture regenerative healthy soil liberation front
Farmers have no financial freedom to switch farming practices Soil Liberation Front

Treating the soil in a good way, for example by swapping monocultures for polycultures, change from tilling to cover cropping and planting plants that attract birds and insects, stimulates the accumulation of organic matter in the soil, and thus its carbon content. These types of soils are more fertile, which lowers the need for fertilisers, and thus the release of N2O emissions. Besides, healthy soils lead to higher yields, eventually.



So why don’t farmers treat their soil like this yet?


Due to the current system, farmers have high debts and are under pressure of high production standards. They simply can’t afford to lose yield, and therefore they do not have any ‘breathing space’ to experiment or swap to other agricultural practices (and machinery). 

Soil Liberation Front gives the farmer financial support to open up to regenerative practices

That’s where Soil Liberation Front comes in:


We provide farmers with the ‘breathing space’ that is needed to switch (partly) to regenerative practices.


We help farmers to transition to regenerative farming by providing innovative payment schemes and collaborative workshops where we bring regenerative experts and farmers together. Together we check what type and scale of regenerative practices would fit the farmer and the land. 


When the farmer is interested, they can pledge to apply regenerative practices on part of their land, and Soil Liberation Front compensates them for the potential loss in profit during the switching. E.g. a farmer decides to test the new practices on 5% of the land, and expects a drop in yield of 5% for 5 years due to the change to the new practices. Then Soil Liberation Front calculates the monetary value of the tons of CO2 that the soil will absorb, and uses this to compensate the farmer. Besides, we function as a platform to distribute fundings and connect companies, governmental bodies and other stakeholders with an interest in offsetting carbon and investing in ecosystem services. 

Soil Liberation Front what we do service overview

With help from Soil Liberation Front, the farmer can start implementing regenerative measures.


As we help the farmers implementing, we check & measure if the farmers live up to their pledge. Also, we connect farmers to each other, to (external) experts, funds, tools and resources: we create a regenerative network.  Expectations are that regenerative practices improve yields bij around 30% compared to conventional agriculture. So ideally, after a few years the farmers themselves become regenerative experts, and can apply the regenerative methods to larger part of their lands. And share experiences with (new) farmers. 

we want to store more carbon than the soils release

Want to know more?

Read the full report here. 

Project credits

Client: Climate KIC

Concept: Caroline Halevy, Juan Pablo Herrero, George Chanarin, Sabrina Grüner, Daniela Tapprest & Merel Witteman

Design & visualisations : Merel Witteman