EcoBalance, KazBeef, and rTek Launch Climate Smart Beef Pilot Program at COP28

DUBAI, UAE, Dec. 3, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — EcoBalance Global, a US-based leader in carbon storage projects, Kazbeef, a subsidiary of Yerkin Tatishev’s Kusto Group, and rTek, a Rakurs Consulting Group company, have partnered to launch the first-ever pilot ranch outside the United States that will deliver the world’s first climate smart beef, using carbon insets, backed by 3rd party validation and blockchain technology.

The pilot has been launched at COP28 in Dubai following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the companies. The project will not only enable blockchain transacted environmentally sustainable cattle outside the United States but will also show the world that the livestock and farming industry can be part of the net-zero solution.

The foundation for the KazBeef pilot is EcoBalance Global’s Framework that supports ranches in deploying a specialized rotational grazing program which allows increased carbon capture in the soil, and utilizing machine learning satellite technology to monitor sustainable land management, focusing on accurate carbon accounting. This is backed up by the Framework’s carbon trade and risk management platform to administer all the requirements of the Framework in conjunction with the blockchain.

As part of the program, rTek, a Rakurs Consulting Group company based in Almaty, Kazakhstan, will leverage its expertise in remote sensing and MRV development, particularly in precision agriculture, to support the pilot program.

The 10-year pilot project is expected to demonstrate the world’s first carbon inset beef supply chain. It is scalable, with the goal of using EcoBalance’s Framework as a global standard for sustainable and climate smart beef supply.  

Tellan Steffan, EcoBalance Global said:

“We are delighted to launch the pilot project with the signing of the MoU with our partners at KazBeef and rTek at COP28. This program will enable Kazakh farmers to have the world’s first working carbon storage project on their land that can be scaled and the means to create and market low carbon beef products.

One-third of all human-caused greenhouse-gas emissions, are generated from food systems, and it is hoped that the EcoBalance Framework can offer a comprehensive solution for the reduction of carbon emissions in the agricultural sector and establishing a template that can be scaled globally.” 

Established in 2011, KazBeef has consistently showcased its dedication to environmentally conscious farming practices, while maintaining a high quality operation which includes more than 15,000 heads of cattle and produces more 6,000 tons of beef per annum.

In its partnership with EcoBalance Global, KazBeef has found a partner that is equally focused on the development of pioneering farming methods, driven by a mission to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint and provide new revenue for local farmers.

EcoBalance Global’s pilot ranch in North Dakota has created over 18,000 registered soil carbon credits, while simultaneously producing and tracking 900 head of climate smart cattle.

Commenting on KazBeef’s announcement and its participation at COP28, Yerkin Tatishev, the Chairman of Kusto Group, said:

“Kazbeef is a pioneer in environmentally conscious farming and ranching practices.  Through this new partnership, we are leading the way in carbon capture in agriculture thanks to our partnership with EcoBalance Global. It is my hope that our efforts can be a model to many others and I am delighted that this has also been recognised through our participation in Kazakhstan’s pavilion at COP28.

COP28 offers a unique opportunity to discuss the ongoing transition in global food production and farming, and I am proud that KazBeef will play an integral role in creating a more sustainable future for us all.”

Dosym Kydyrbayev, Managing Partner, Rakurs Consulting Group, said:

“As we embrace the challenges and opportunities of environmental sustainability in Kazakhstan, it’s crucial to recognize the pivotal role of innovative technologies and data-driven approaches. Companies like rTek are at the forefront of this transformation, offering vital solutions in soil sampling, MRV, standards adoption, and QA processes for carbon projects.

To advance Kazakhstan’s decarbonization goals, the private sector must commit to long-term collaboration with governments, local, and international bodies. With this project and others, we aim to support our nation’s ecological goals but also to position Kazakhstan as a leader in climate action and sustainable development.”

About EcoBalance Global

EcoBalance Global is a US based carbon reduction project developer, consultant, and carbon program manager. We utilize our relationships with farmers, ranchers, and landowners to develop projects that biologically enhance their soil, sequester and store carbon, as well as increase vegetative production. We have developed a robust Soil Carbon Sequestration and Storage Framework (Framework) to assist the agriculture industry at large to lower their carbon footprint.  Our Framework employs methodologies and procedures to address the diverse environmental requirements for farms and ranches around the world.

Through our Framework, we can increase carbon removal and storage rates that we are able to certify through a third-party registry and use verified carbon insets in the Framework life cycle analysis process. We facilitate the use of carbon insets tied to products coming from the land (beef, lamb, cereal grains, etc.). The carbon reduced products enter the supply chain where they may be counted towards Science Based Target Initiatives (SBTi) goals resulting in a low or no carbon footprint product that can be directly tied back to the land it came from. Our business delivers a high value-added quality product that rewards the stewards of the resources for excellent management and provides distributors with a product that they can have complete confidence in.

About KazBeef

KazBeef is a vertically integrated group of companies which produce the leading marbled beef in Kazakhstan under the KazBeef brand. The KazBeef brand and operation reflects the concept of ‘from farm to folk’ and KazBeef is leading an ambitious program to transform Kazakhstan’s vast arable land into a global production and export hub for premium beef products.

KazBeef is a part of the Kusto Group, which employs thousands of people in more than nine countries, across industries as diverse as agriculture, construction materials, real estate, and retail. Chaired by Yerkin Tatishev, Kusto Group is leading the way in developing innovative solutions to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

The company employs over 8,000 staff and has an annual turnover of more than $1bn. In 2013, Kusto Group permanently moved its headquarters from Almaty to Singapore.

About rTek

rTek, a member of Rakurs Consulting Group, has been dedicated to providing sustainable technology solutions in Kazakhstan since 2018.

Their recent focus includes several ongoing natural carbon sequestration projects, involving grasslands, croplands, and afforestation, reflecting a deep commitment to environmental sustainability. 

Based in Almaty, rTek is not only an active contributor to Kazakhstan’s sustainability landscape but also is represented in key industry organizations through its founders’ roles in the Qazaq Green Association, responsible for a new standard for carbon emissions verification in Kazakhstan. rTek also is an active leader in research projects throughout the country, including several key multi-year studies initiated by ADB, World Bank, FAO, and the Kazakh Government focused on rangeland sustainability and agricultural water management, and precision agriculture technologies.