Texas Offset Firm Invests In Alta. Farm Aggregator

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A company specializing in aggregating carbon credits earned by Alberta farmers has picked up investment from a Texas carbon trading firm.

Houston-based Element Markets said Jan. 25 it would take an equity position in Agri-Trend Aggregation Inc. (ATAI), part of the Agri-Trend Group in Red Deer, Alta. The two companies didn’t specify the size of the equity stake or put a dollar value on their deal.

The partnership is to give ATAI the opportunity to expand its operations throughout Alberta, Saskatchewan and other provinces, Agri-Trend said.

Furthermore, “as this market unfolds, we value the role Element Markets will play in expanding our business across Canada and into the U.S.,” ATAI CEO Robert Saik said in a release.

ATAI now works with Alberta farmers, using a tillage protocol that documents the carbon sequestration in their fields’ soils, as gained through “advanced farm management practices.”

ATAI has “aggregated more agricultural carbon offsets than any other single entity and… returned significant payouts to Alberta farmers,” the company said. It sells the resulting carbon offsets to companies in the fertilizer, oil and gas, chemical and cement industries.

ATAI’s network of “Carbon-Coaches” also now operates in Saskatchewan, anticipating passage of a climate change bill in that province in 2010, the company said.

The company’s Carbon-Coaches offer its Soil Carbon Offset Program (SCOP), which they manage using its proprietary Agri-Data Solution Netware farm data management system.

“Agriculture-based carbon credits are a strategic growth segment for our company as we expect them to play an increasing role in carbon trading in the U.S. and Canada,” Element Markets president Angela Schwarz said in the same release.

Element Markets is to bring its “commercial expertise and relationships” in emissions markets to ATAI’s aggregation program, she said.

Element Markets’ portfolio currently includes wind, solar, methane and greenhouse gas mitigation projects, generating credits to help large emitters to manage their carbon exposure.

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