16 March 2023
Leading Harvest, a nonprofit organisation founded in the United States, has announced that it has launched its industry-leading program in Australia which will implement a world-first sustainability assurance program designed to harmonise sustainability reporting across crops and regions. Leading Harvest provides farmers and agriculture customers with a universal certification through its unique Farmland Management Standard (the “Standard”), which standardises sustainability verification and reporting across the industry, resolving inefficiencies faced by farmers, producers, and customers in providing the sustainability assurances that the market increasingly demands.
Warakirri is excited to announce its participation in the program which represents several funds including Warakirri Cropping, Warakirri Diversified Agriculture Fund, and Warakirri Farmland Fund. These portfolios are majority represented by row crop, open land horticulture and permanent crops, across six states.
The Standard provides both farmers, and their major customers including supermarket chains and other retailers, with a way to verify sustainability outcomes that impact communities and the environment, from climate and biodiversity to safe and respectful working environments.
Announcing Warakirri’s participation, Jim McKay, Managing Director said: “Warakirri’s proud history and long-term experience in agriculture has taught us those agricultural investments committed to environmental sustainability, positive social impact and responsible management, produce higher and more sustainable long-term returns. Over more than 25 years, our investors’ expectations on sustainability have evolved and they are increasingly seeking sustainable investment strategies from asset managers such as Warakirri. Following a successful 12-month pilot across multiple sectors in which we have participated, we feel confident the program standard is robust and sets the benchmark as a sustainability program that is now tailored to the Australian agriculture environment.”
“While several sustainability frameworks exist, following the evolution of this pilot we believe this holistic program is best suited to drive positive change in the agricultural industry in Australia and promote sustainable practices and deliver long-term value for investors. Our participation in this program aligns with our mission to invest and operate ethically and sustainably and will ensure Warakirri remains at the forefront of, and as a leader in, sustainable agricultural investments” he added.