Call for super funds to invest in agriculture

Harvst-2019The Victorian Farmers Federation is calling on the Victorian and Australian Governments to develop an Agriculture Investment Strategy that will incentivise Australian superannuation funds to invest in our ‘bulletproof’ agriculture industry.

VFF President David Jochinke said COVID-19 has highlighted the need to rebalance our investment strategies including for foreign interest in agriculture.

“VFF, Government and Super Funds should work together on an Agricultural Investment Strategy that turbocharges super fund investment in Victorian farms and the agriculture supply chain more broadly.”

Colliers International Agribusiness Research and Forecast Report for 2020 found the agricultural sector to be a strong investment option for those seeking long term returns and portfolio diversification.

It stated “we know that demand for food will never cease which provides a bullet-proof scenario for the Agribusiness sector, supports its long-term financial sustainability, and positions the sector as a key driver of the recovery process for society and the economy.”

Victoria is the second largest farmland investment market in Australia. Sales volumes last year alone reached $1.2 billion. According to Colliers International, there has been a surge in global investment players into Australian agribusiness, particularly American and Canadian investment funds.

Mr Jochinke said a recent Federal Parliamentary Inquiry estimated that Aussie superfunds have invested around $1.8 billion or 0.2% in agriculture.

“There is a real investment opportunity, with the right policy settings, to build and secure the supply chains, grow the markets that we distribute produce to and support farm businesses through strategic investments in technology, capital, research and development and education, Mr Jochinke said.

“The time to do this is now: Government is looking at tax reform and economic reform more broadly. Let’s work together to develop the compelling business case that sees Australian superannuation funds investing in agriculture and ensures we are not left behind.

Victorian agriculture is uniquely positioned as a national and global leader in food and fibre. In the current environment, we must look to opportunities to further leverage our reputation for producing and exporting the world’s cleanest, greenest and safest food and fibre products.”

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