Frequently asked questions
Why should I sign up to Soil Association Exchange?
We like to think there are lots of reasons. Firstly, Soil Association Exchange provides high-quality data on a farm’s sustainability which is increasingly required by food processors, retailers and the finance industry.
Secondly, we provide world-class agricultural advice on sustainable farming through our expert team of agricultural advisors.
Thirdly, we help farmers take advantage of the financial opportunities available to farms which are farming more sustainably (including public subsidies and private markets, such as carbon).
What are the financial benefits for me to signing up?
It's difficult to determine exactly how much your farm could make through registering because every farm is different. However, our agricultural advisors will be on-hand to help you unlock the maximum amount of value possible.
Through providing important information on accessing subsidies, natural capital payments, price premiums and cost saving opportunities, two thirds of farmers state that Exchange helped make them more profitable.
How much will Soil Association Exchange cost?
There are two ways that a farmer can access Exchange. There is Exchange Explore which is free to use for farmers to calculate a partial farm sustainability score on the Exchange digital platform and receive some online advice. Under this free model, you have to undertake all the data collection yourself and there is no bespoke advice.
The second option is Exchange Excel whereby our team help capture all the data required to calculate an accurate farm sustainability report. Most farmers are currently accessing Exchange Excel for free because they are being funded via one of our partner businesses (see here).
If you would like to pay for the service directly, please get in touch and we will send you information on price as it relates to your farm size, complexity and what you want the data for.
What is included in my farm’s Soil Association Exchange score?
Your farm’s Soil Association Exchange score looks at the following six impact areas: soils, carbon, biodiversity, water, animal welfare and society. In each of those impact areas, there are 3-5 indicators that tell us the most about the state of that impact area on your farm. You can view the full methodology of how we calculate your farm’s sustainability score here.
How accurate is my farm’s sustainability score?
We have worked with the UK’s leading scientists, farmers and food businesses to create the Soil Association Exchange sustainability score methodology. It is based on the best possible science available. We are constantly evolving how we calculate your farm’s score to account for new science and measurement methodologies.
How long does it take to calculate my farm’s Exchange score?
To get an accurate ecological score of your farm across the 6 impact areas (soils, biodiversity, climate change, water, animal welfare, and society) it takes about 4 hours answering some office based questions and 1 full day on your farm. This may sound like a lot, but it helps us guarantee the accuracy of the data and get you the best possible baseline for your farm. Our agricultural advisors are on-hand to help you through the process.
How does Soil Association Exchange interact with the Global Farm Metric?
Soil Association Exchange works closely with the team behind the Global Farm Metric (GFM). Soil Association Exchange is built off the high-level framework of the GFM.
How will you protect my data?
We take the role of looking after your data very seriously. We will never share your farm data with anyone unless you explicitly give us permission. We will store your data under the strictest protections to ensure it is safe. You can read more about how we look after your data here.
Why has the Soil Association launched Exchange?
The Soil Association has been supporting farmers to farm more profitably and sustainably for over 75 years.
Launching Exchange was a logical next step, providing a new platform dedicated to sharing the knowledge amassed between farmers across the industry, and to help all UK farmers and land managers reap the rewards of sustainable practices.
Soil Association has offended non-organic farmers in the past. Why should I trust them now?
We believe that all farmers can farm in a way that’s productive, profitable and good for the climate and nature.
Since 2012, we’ve been working hard through our Innovative Farmers programme to engage 15,000 farmers from all different farming backgrounds, listening to their knowledge and experiences as they trial new techniques.
Soil Association Exchange is for all farmers regardless of what practices they follow. Every farm is different, and we want to support farmers to connect and share their insight so all farmers can benefit from the environmental and financial rewards of regenerative.