Gunn believes the regeneration of landscapes needs a five to ten-year outlook. “If you want to regenerate environmental assets, it takes time. If you want to sequester carbon and get paid for it, it takes time. So by its nature, the sheer nature of agriculture, we have a long term view,” he says.
Kilter Rural’s focus on environmental sustainability is shared by ANZ. James Dunnett from ANZ’s Specialised Agribusiness says supporting business and financial practices that improve environmental sustainability is core to ANZ’s purpose.
“Kilter Rural’s values are closely aligned with ours and they have proven that balancing agriculture with environmental protection delivers sustainable returns,” he says. “Through partnering with our agricultural customers we hope to accelerate the adoption of improved sustainable business practices in the sector.”
The Fund not only looks to transform under-capitalised land, it improves biodiversity and enables the production of quality products consumers demand.
The Fund enhances the land’s ability to sequester carbon, particularly where the land was not viable for primary production, including tree corridors and water ways.
High value crops are sold under long term off-take arrangements - tomatoes to Kagome (a Japanese company and Australia’s largest tomato processor), SPC (a fresh food processor), Carlton United Brewers (its CUB organic barley) and Hakabaku (a Japanese organic noodle manufacturer based in regional Victoria).
To date the fund has raised $40 million and purchased five farms in Northern Victoria which Gunn says were under-utilised and considered unproductive in terms of financial and environmental outcomes.
The landscapes were improved with investment in water delivery and efficiency to grow high value crops and establish biodiversity and vegetation corridors. The water is used for the benefit of people, planet and profit.