Craigmore Sustainables is to borrow $142 million in a sustainability-linked loan to improve environmental results across its primary sector portfolio.
The loan, provided through a club deal arrangement by Rabobank and ASB, is one of the largest of its type for a New Zealand agribusiness company operating inside the farm gate.
It will see Craigmore Farming Partnership (CFP), which runs dairy farms and horticulture properties across NZ, receive financial incentives as it delivers targets linked to its sustainability strategy.
These include greenhouse gases, people and leadership, animal welfare and biodiversity.
NZ-owned Craigmore Sustainables has a portfolio of dairy, grazing, forestry and horticultural properties covering over 25,000ha throughout NZ.
“Our whole purpose is to produce globally sought-after food and fibre that leads the way in sustainability practices while benefiting our rural communities,” Craigmore CEO Ché Charteris said.
“This agreement will help Craigmore deliver on this ambition. Specifically, a big focus is to support our teams to identify, test and adapt GHG-reduction solutions to integrate into real-world farming and orcharding operations.
“We’re here to grow the best of Aotearoa New Zealand – whether that be the best crops and varieties, or the best in our people and our environment. Working with our partners to integrate sustainability into rural debt in a detailed manner helps achieve this goal for us, and other rural businesses that wish to follow this path.”
Craigmore’s head of acquisitions and corporate finance, Paul Burns, said the loan will accelerate the businesses’ sustainability goals, which are integral to its long-term strategy.
Craigmore has set bold climate aspirations, seeking to materially exceed the GHG reduction targets set by the Climate Change Commission through land-use change and changes to existing operations.
These include establishing one of NZ’s first carbon-neutral dairy farms by 2035.
A key part of the new loan also focuses on native restoration projects and further developing team leadership skills in its businesses.
Rabobank NZ general manager of country banking Bruce Weir said the company has a valuable relationship with Craigmore, “whose commitment to meeting sustainability and environmental challenges very much aligns with Rabobank’s global commitment in this space”.
ASB acting executive general manager of business banking, Ben Speedy, said ASB is delighted to support Craigmore with the sustainability-linked loan.
“Craigmore is at the food and fibre industry vanguard when it comes to emissions reduction innovation and progress on environmental, sustainability and governance, while having people and the community at the heart of what it does – it deserves high commendation for its work.”