Traceability through quality standards

HUMUS+ puts great value to the traceability of processes and compliance with high quality standards.

At the start of the project, soil samples are taken by a certified independent expert and analysed by a likewise certified and independent laboratory (initial analysis).

After a time frame (freely selectable by the farmer) of 5-7 years, another sample is taken by the same expert. The additional humus built up is determined and converted to CO2 quantities (see also CO2 storage through humus build-up). The participating farmers strive for a humus enrichment of at least 0,3 percentage points (e.g. from 2.5 % humus to 2.8 % humus), otherwise no payment is made. After the payment of the achieved success fee, the farmers have to guarantee that the increased humus content remains stable for at least five years. This is checked on the basis of the third (control) survey.

The entire certificate trading process is handled online using proprietary software, with great emphasis on transparency and traceability. Farmers can access the data of their plot and the corresponding recommendation online at any time. The buyers of the HUMUS+Certificates (companies, private persons) can also view their purchases online at any time.

Determining the success fee for HUMUS+Farmers without including the long-term benefits

Within the framework of certificate trading, companies pay a contractually fixed price per ton of CO2. Of this, also contractually fixed, two thirds go to the farmers for each ton of CO2 that is proven to be stored in the ground. This is not only supposed to cover the entire cost of the change in farming practices, but actually represents a respectable additional income. The remaining one third goes to HUMUS+, which finances the administrative effort for the maintenance and further development of the program.

While the direct financial gain for farmers is of course an argument for the participation in HUMUS+, it should not be forgotten that the real gain for farms, the environment and the whole society lies in the sustainable improvement of soils as well as in the active fight against the climate crisis!


As a statement regarding a position paper of WWF Germany on the subject of CO2 certificates, we see ourselves in the responsibility to respond to the argumentation and to illuminate raised questions with the background of our many years of experience in the field of certificate trading.

Our statement (in german) can be found under the following link: