RALEIGH, N.C., June 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Just three months after its official launch, the Ecosystem Services Market Consortium (ESMC) today announces that eight more private-sector companies and nonprofit organizations have joined the group. The move demonstrates the groundswell support surging throughout all levels of the agricultural supply chain as it seeks to advance the development of a market-based approach to promoting land stewardship to build healthy soils, sequester soil carbon and conserve and improve our nation's water.
Nutrien Ag Solutions will be joining ESMC as a Founding Circle member. New Legacy Partners will include Bayer, National Farmers Union, American Farmland Trust, National Association of Conservation Districts, Soil Health Partnership, The Fertilizer Institute and Tyson Foods.
"All of the ESMC member companies and organizations recognize the critical importance and benefit of not only taking care of our working lands, but enriching them," says Debbie Reed, Executive Director, ESMC. "They know it will create positive social, economic and environmental outcomes, and they want to help lead those efforts."
Founding Circle and Legacy Partner members pledge financial support as well as their participation to create a movement to measure, verify and monetize increases in soil carbon, reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and improved water quality and conservation from the agricultural sector.
"The ESMC is doing groundbreaking work in the sustainability arena, and Nutrien is honored to join this consortium and its distinguished roster of companies, organizations and associates so we can all work together to advance agricultural sustainability," says Mike Frank, Nutrien Executive Vice President and CEO of Retail. "Nutrien Ag Solutions has extensive exposure to the agricultural supply chain, including farmers, food processors and big box consumer packaged goods retailers. We will be able to draw on resources from our company network of more than 3,500 agronomists and already-established close personal working relationships with over one-half million farmers."
ESMC has been working behind the scenes for the past 20 months to ensure it is bringing forward a well-thought-out and tested approach that can be successful for all parties involved. Following are a few areas where it has, and will continue to, focus its attention.
- ESMC will provide the necessary transparency and rigor to track improvements in soil health and GHG, water quality and water use, as well as additional attributes to be added in the future, such as biodiversity.
- It will drive the coordinated development of advanced analytical tools and technologies to cost-effectively measure and monitor changes in sustainability outcomes and contribute income to farmers and ranchers through insetting and offsetting supply-chain strategies and the sale of ecosystem services credits.
- A pilot test of ESMC's integrated ecosystem credit protocol is currently taking place on 50,000 acres of rangeland and farmland in Texas and Oklahoma. It is focused on developing cause-and-effect assessment of production management practices, led by Noble Research Institute. Additional pilots and implementation are planned across the United States in 2019 and beyond.
- By 2022, the program intends to encompass all major agricultural production systems and geographies in the United States.
The eight new ESMC members join ADM, Bunge, Cargill, General Mills, Indigo Agriculture, McDonald's USA, Noble Research Institute, LLC, Soil Health Institute, The Nature Conservancy and Mars Incorporated, who formed the consortium earlier this year. Additional membership opportunities in ESMC are available to corporations, nonprofit and conservation organizations, and agricultural organizations. For more information, visit ecosystemservicesmarket.org.
About the Ecosystem Services Market Consortium (ESMC)
The Ecosystem Services Market Consortium was launched in February 2019 with nine Founding Circle members and one Legacy Partner. It builds on the earlier formation of the Ecosystem Services Market Program, a product of more than 20 months of industry and sector leaders developing resources and information to establish a successful ecosystems market. The planned market offers the singular focus of enabling and encouraging farmers and ranchers to adopt and sustain conservation management practices to improve soil health, reduce GHG emissions, and improve related water quality and reduce water use. Noble Research Institute helped set the groundwork for the program along with support from the McKnight Foundation, General Mills Foundation and Walton Family Foundation.
SOURCE Ecosystem Services Market Consortium