Without an ample supply of healthy soil, our food system would likely collapse. Almost every agricultural product can be tied back to the soil at some point in its production history, yet until recently soil has been one of the least-discussed inputs. Soil is a key component of The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) 2019 Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
The intensive farming of commodity crops like wheat, barley, corn, soybean, and cotton has been linked to a decline in soil health as the result of increased runoff and a lack of organic matter, which refers to the carbon-based compounds found within the soil that both give it life, stability and help it sustain microbial and plant growth.
Before the 20th century, the soil was rich, healthy and organically dense with a long history of nutrient recycling producing a deeply complex ecosystem of microbes, minerals, decomposing organic matter, air, and water.
According to the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the UN, some 30% of the world’s soils are currently degraded due to overly intensive and polluting farming practices. If current trends continue, soils, as we know them, may be gone by the year 2050. As much as 3m tonnes of topsoil are lost in the UK each year and restoring lost soils without specialist support can take centuries.
EDL recognised the need for a third cycle to the soil system in order to feed and sustain the planet. The first cycle was the beginning of soil as a mixture of organic materials and minerals that provided the basis for agriculture. The second was the addition of synthetic chemical fertilisers and industrialised farming methods that while improving global food security and supply, are unable to sustain the soil’s nutrient integrity.
We believe (and our work is supported by independent research undertaken by Rothamsted Research) that our fertiliser meets the requirements for a third soil cycle management system that can result in systemic change to soil, plant, animal and human health to meet the demands of a growing global population and ease the pressure on a resource-constrained planet.
One of the key nutrients recovered from our process is phosphate, a nutrient essential for plant, animal and human growth. Yet it is uncertain whether the world’s main source of phosphate will be available and accessible in the future. Phosphate rock is finite and becoming increasingly scarce, expensive and concentrated in only a few countries.
EDL recaptures previously lost phosphate, converts it to a solubilised form and surrounds it with essential soil regenerative nutrients and compounds, helping to complete a circular model of sustainable domestic phosphate-rich fertiliser production.
EDL also recognised that all cattle rearing countries are facing growing challenges to sustainably manage their post slaughter related wastes. Some 329 million cattle are slaughtered annually around the globe and their related wastage is an underutilised resource. Here in the UK, around 2 million cattle are slaughtered annually, which compares to major beef producing countries such as Brazil (65 million) and the USA (35 million). So it is apparent that our process will have global appeal to address the residual waste output which continues to increase annually.
EDL’s viable, sustainable, complex Organo-Mineral fertiliser produced on site and in line at the abattoir with each day’s meat production activity, is suitable for arable, grassland, horticultural and amenity use.
Some 50 bio-available micro-nutrients, 30% soluble carbon compounds with bone mineral appetite converted to sterile, soluble phosphate, virtually free from cadmium and radioactive isotopes, 30% sulphur as SO3 and customisable macro-nutrients further distinguish Thallo®.
We supply soil benefits with quantifiable soil solutions, making EDL’s circular, low carbon footprint fertiliser a perfect, scalable and viable soil solution.
Our patented process uniquely allows for micronutrient and primary ratio customisation to meet seasonal and regional needs and the output product creates a stable, dense, homogenous granule suitable for a consistent application utilising existing equipment.
Our process also resolves an important safety element, the safe and biosecure production process means the existing risks associated with the transport of abattoir by-products and associated vector control is contained on site, ensuring only safe, secure off-take materials leave the site of production.