If farmers want to increase profits they need to "look beyond the gate" at the big picture, Geoff Ross says.
Ross and his wife Justine run Lake Hawea Station, the first farm in New Zealand to have its carbon footprint certified.
The Rosses used certifications provider Toitū Envirocare, which found that the 6500-hectare station was actually carbon positive.
This was a "big deal" for Lake Hawea Station, and for its offshore customers, Ross told The Country's Jamie Mackay.
"Ultimately, without being too grandiose, it's something that's good for the planet, if we can sequester more carbon than we're emitting. That's a healing effect."
That kind of certification could make the world take notice, as consumers increasingly wanted to know where their food came from, Ross said.
"It means that we as farmers have the opportunity to start building our own brands, our own stories, our own values. We can tell that next to our products and it's going to help us in market."
Ross is the founder of the 42 Below vodka company, so he knows a thing or two about marketing.
He encouraged other farmers to consider going through the process and to think globally, rather than locally.
"As farmers start to look beyond the gate and start to realise that to maximise the value that we can create, we've got to actually market to the end consumer - not just to the people who pick up our products from the gate."
Last year, Beef+Lamb NZ released a report that showed many high country sheep and beef farms in New Zealand were carbon neutral or positive.
The report was "really valuable," especially when coupled with carbon neutral certification, Ross said.
"We as a sector can actually prove...that we are having a positive effect on the planet, not a negative one, which sometimes we've been accused of."
Lake Hawea Station runs close to 10,000 Merino sheep and 200 Angus cow, and the farm had achieved its carbon footprint certification without dropping stock numbers, Ross said.
"In fact, we've been building stock numbers here over the last two years."
"I think the popular myth is if you want to lower your carbon profile or become carbon positive, you have to cut stock numbers - and that's another thing we wanted to demonstrate is not necessarily the case."
Regenerating scrub and extensive native tree planting had also "tipped the ledger in our favour," Ross said.
There were two ways to monetise being carbon positive, Ross said.
"The easiest way is to have some of those credits ETS certified and sell them and get a cheque within a few weeks. However once you do that, you've lost your marketing, or your brand differentiation."
As a result, Ross went with the method that he believed would bring long term benefits to Lake Hawea Station.
"We've chosen to keep those credits and attach them to our wool and our meat and plan to build a premium for what we sell as carbon positive."
Ultimately, having a farm's carbon footprint certified was a "brilliant" advertisement for a sector that got "beaten up from time to time," Ross said.
"It's brilliant in farming that we can demonstrate to the wider community that we can actually be net contributors to climate change and actually help fix the problem."