Here at Truffle Farms Europe, we’ve taken a strategic view of the value of forestry. However, we don’t just look at planting trees or buying them at various stages of growth, but take a view of the whole ecosystem and value that can be gained from specific species and what exists with or because of them. If our attempt at providing our investor’s with the right returns, happens to deliver sustainability through significant natural, mature tree and land development and thereby protects a small part of the natural environment, we’re happy for that to be a by-product.

Land and Water

Two thirds of our planet is covered in water, which given a global population of 9bn means that the one third that is land is going to become increasingly stretched to provide us with the food to sustain us. Acquiring land that others don’t want and making it useful productive land, is only going to become more and more valuable.

Commercial farming of cereals and other intensive food production crops, takes nearly 40% of all the water consumed in Western Europe and exhausts the natural minerals, richness and structure of the soil. This can result in flood degradation of the land through soil wash-away and even sometimes the sort of catastrophic landslides seen during flooding. Planting trees for crops that will need little water maintenance beyond their initial years of growth, reduces impact on water pressure, whilst having minimal impact on the soil and in fact enriching stabilisation through extensive root systems.

Trees as a Resource

We are all aware that trees are a vital component in our planet’s health and sustainability. Planting them for the long term to achieve valuable investor returns, makes a unique marriage of economic and ecological sense. Whilst we’re not suggesting we are planting the forests of the future, we are growing a valuable hardwood tree in quantity and in the end a mature cut lumber resource, providing a win for you, sustainability and the environment.

Carbon Capture

There is a new and relatively undeveloped trading market for carbon. Significant claims have been made by some for its potential. However, the complexity of developing a market with so many diverse sources of the trade-able resource is, at this stage holding back the ability to build accepted and robust market models on which to construct a global platform.

Add to this so many different types of uneducated buyer and seller, coupled with the long term nature of carbon capture in trees and factors such as “additionality”, have led us to avoid entering our projects for the time being. However, with associates such as Forest Carbon, who are leading the development of this market in the UK and Europe, we will be monitoring progress and will take advantage of any additional revenue opportunities our plantations can deliver through this market.

Summary of the UK tax provisions as they apply to commercial forestry planted within EEA

Income and Corporation Tax: There is no tax chargeable on income and profits arising from the occupation of commercial woodlands.1
Capital Gains Tax: The increase in value which is attributable to standing or felled timber is free from CGT.2
Inheritance Tax: After two years of ownership/occupation, the value of a commercial woodland is excluded from IHT as business
property, some woodland qualifies for Agricultural Property relief instead.3
VAT: VAT is chargeable on all services and many woodland owners register.4

References: Income and Corporation Taxes Act1, Taxation of Chargeable Gains Act2, Inheritance Tax Act3, VAT value Added Tax4

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Forestry for Fine Food