New market opens to trade carbon and biodiversity assets

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The UK’s first high quality natural capital market has been launched by Trinity Natural Capital Markets (Trinity NCM), complementing the product range of its group partner company, Trinity AgTech. For the first time, Trinity NCM brings to farmers of all sizes a trustworthy platform for monetising their efforts aimed at reducing carbon, boosting biodiversity and protecting the water in their care.

Trinity NCM was launched on Thursday 14th October as part of Countryside COP1. The launch was transmitted live from Overbury Estate, Worcestershire. Similar to the launch and subsequent release of products by Trinity earlier this year, Trinity NCM’s launch is being followed by a period of fine-tuning, with the platform to be released for transactions and trading on Tuesday 11th January 2022.

Trinity NCM is aligned with the aspirations and quality principles of the United Nation’s Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets1. This brings confidence and trust both to sellers of carbon credits and tokens, such as farmers, agroforestry specialists and other land-use stewards, and to those looking to offset their carbon footprint and support nature. The platform has benefited from input by Trinity’s Advisory Council and Scientific Board while extensive expertise has also been drawn from international and UK property lawyers.

Trinity NCM’s senior natural capital manager, Louisa Knocker, says it’s time farmers and land managers are properly rewarded for the natural capital in their care.

“Natural capital describes the aspects of nature that are all too often overlooked and undervalued – the trees, hedges and ditches, meadows and bird cover, the soil, air and water, and all living things, resources and services that come with them.

“Through advanced scientific tools such as Trinity AgTech’s software, Sandy, farmers can determine their baseline and credibly measure services such as carbon reductions and biodiversity improvements to add value beyond the end product. Credits are then generated when increasing carbon sequestration or enhancing biodiversity that can be sold through the marketplace.”

As society increasingly values and recognises what we get from natural capital, she says: “With the removal of the Basic Payment Scheme, Trinity NCM will help land managers and farmers get ahead of the curve on the ELM scheme and boost returns from the work they undertake with new and untapped revenue streams.”

The first steps for farmers and land managers wishing to participate in the marketplace are to determine their carbon footprint baseline and develop a natural capital plan which will generate carbon credits and biodiversity tokens. Current and historic enterprise data interpreted by scientifically robust tools is key to using the platform.

Then, through Trinity NCM, land managers and farmers will have three options in which to sell their natural capital stocks:

  • On the marketplace setting your own criteria and a minimum price for bidders rather like traditional selling online;
  • To corporate investors who may well have already set their purchase price and criteria; or,
  • Using the credits to sell or barter with businesses where a relationship already exists, such as to processors, retailers, or other farmers and land managers.

With a background in the energy, financial services and agricultural sectors, Juan Palomares, a Trinity Managing Director says:

“This is the right time to facilitate an open and transparent marketplace. Farmers and land managers can derive real rewards by collecting and trading carbon credits for the CO₂ they remove or emissions they reduce. And buyers are able to access a diverse range of credible and high-quality carbon credits to invest in and offset their own residual emissions.”

The Green Farm Collective, a group of six leading regenerative farmers and all former ‘Soil Farmer of the Year’ finalists, attended the launch and will be using the marketplace to sell their carbon and biodiversity packages. Jake Freestone, Overbury Enterprises’ Farm Manager, explains:

“We formed the Green Farm Collective to quantify and capitalise on the natural capital – predominantly carbon and biodiversity – that we’re storing in our farming systems.

“We’ve created three packages – one carbon and two biodiversity – that will be available through the Trinity NCM marketplace. It’s an opportunity to capture the value in storing our customers’ carbon and we have the autonomy to choose how to do that whether that’s through agroforestry, arable reversion, or the way we manage our rotation.”

Farmers and land managers who are interested in more information about how they can assess their natural capital with Sandy and participate in the Trinity NCM marketplace are invited to attend a webinar on 28 October and can register online here.

 

 

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About Author

Editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is an avid follower of Stoke City.