Australian Farmlands Fund
The fund invests in southern Murray-Darling Basin farmland and water assets. Underutilised farming properties are repurposed with quality infrastructure to produce higher value crops while also improving ecological outcomes. First 1200ha of farmland acquired and under development.
Inception: October 2018
Annualised return since inception: 3.17% p.a.
AUM: A$33 million as at 31 March 2020
Why Invest in farmland?
Quality arable farmland across the globe is becoming increasingly scarce, with the World Bank reporting that arable land per person declined by 52% from 1961 to 2015.
The United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organization reports an additional two billion people will be on Earth by 2050. Based on current systems, farmers will have to increase food production by 50% to meet the expected 2030 demand alone.
Globally, the fundamental agricultural resources required for food and fibre production face ever-increasing pressures and increased exposure to climate change.
Utilising regenerative practices, sustainable intensification of agriculture is necessary to meet the increase in global demand for food. Meeting this demand will depend upon the development and uptake of progressive technologies that lead to improved agricultural productivity.
The Australian Farmlands Funds has been certified by Responsible Investment Association Australasia according to the strict operational and disclosure practices required under its Responsible Investment Certification Program. The program helps investors by providing standardised and consistent information about certified responsible investment products, services and policies. The certification symbol signifies that an investment product, service or policy takes environmental, social, governance or ethical considerations into account along with financial returns. Visit www.responsibleinvestment.org for details
What we farm
In 2013, we pioneered the growing of cotton in Victoria, which at the time was the most southern cotton crop in the world. Crop yields are improving annually, confirming the viability of Victoria as a future major player in the lucrative cotton industry.
From the 2018-19 growing season we produced Australia’s first organic field crop at scale. Traditionally regarded as unsuitable for tomato cropping, the Lake Boga farmland in northern Victoria is generating yields that are the highest in Australia, and among the best in the world. From the first tomato crop in 2011, we have grown to become the largest supplier to Australia’s biggest tomato processing company Kagome, which is based in Echuca in northern Victoria.
Planted initially to help with the remediation of severely depleted and saline-affected soils, these crops make Kilter Rural the largest lucerne grower in Australia, with annual volumes approaching 10,000mt. Recognised nationally for its quality and consistency, Our lucerne is harvested with state-of-the-art steaming technology to improve yield and quality.
We have a strategic commitment to become one of the largest organic producers in Australia. In 2016, we harvested our first crop of organic wheat that was grown exclusively for Hakubaku, a leading producer of Japanese organic noodles, as part of a long-term supply relationship. Organic compost made from Melbourne green waste is applied to organically certified farmland that is being expanded to include other crops, including soy beans, fruit and vegetables.
Farmland investment experience
We invest in farmland to maximise opportunities provided by drivers of food security, climate change, demographic change and sustainability.
Since 2006 we have been implementing our Future Farming Landscapes investment model, purchasing 40 properties, covering 12,000 hectares (29,640 acres) of irrigation farmland country in Australia. Farmland is regenerated at scale to deliver long-term resilience and reduced exposure to traditional risks. This is a core-plus strategy – adding value to deliver farmlands with a sustainable, global competitive advantage.
Our wholesale and sophisticated clients are aligned with the Principles for Responsible Investment but recognise the opportunities provided by drivers of food security, climate change, demographic change and sustainability.
Wedgetail Food and Fibre
In 2016, Kilter Rural created Wedgetail Food and Fibre, a marketing joint venture that is responsible for identifying high value, strategically aligned markets for its produce. Wedgetail Food and Fibre works with our executive and operations teams to identify crops that can be successfully grown on its farmland, then develops a supply chain that will operate outside the commodity market environment.