Rural investment company Craigmore Sustainables has broken the billion-dollar mark for assets under its management.
The company, which employs 229 people, has 60 properties in its portfolio, of which 37% are horticulture, 36% agriculture and 27% forestry. That total area covers 25,906ha, which also includes leases and forestry rights.
Releasing its Impact Sustainability Report, chief executive Che Charteris said Craigmore has grown steadily in the past year towards achieving its aim of being a leader in sustainable food and fiber production.
“We achieve that through investing in land-use change and in better ways of operating, which take into account some of the major challenges facing society including climate change, loss of biodiversity, and social inequity.
“This year, we have planted 1.36 million forestry trees, 860,000 apple trees, 140,000 kiwifruit vines, and 491,000 grapevines.”
Founded in 2009, Craigmore’s mission is to bring capital into New Zealand’s rural economy to produce quality food and fiber in a way that benefits rural communities, local ecosystems and the wider climate.
It aims to halve greenhouse gas emissions across its business by 2030.
Acknowledging NZ pasture-based dairy farms produce among the lowest carbon-intensity dairy products in the world, Craigmore has gone a step further with a goal of achieving an independently verified and commercially viable net carbon zero dairy farm by 2035.
On a North Canterbury dairy farm the company is installing NZ’s first commercial EcoPond system, which treats shed effluent to reduce methane emissions by 95%.
The one dairy support farm and 22 dairy farms in the South Island managed by Craigmore are valued at $363 million and cover 8372ha. The 15,907 cows milked produced 7,158,815kg/MS last season.
These farms are run by teams and equity partners.
In addition Craigmore has five minority interest investments in dairy farming businesses that comprise an additional 8216ha producing 90 million liters of milk annually.
Its horticulture business covers 2160ha and is valued at $376m.
Production last season totaled 2471t of apples, 17t of grapes, 2265t of squash and 3406t of kiwifruit.
Last year Craigmore managed 15,374ha of forestry including forestry rights, which sequestered 119,183t of carbon dioxide. It harvested 56,672t in the year and planted 1340ha of new forestry.
Forestry assets were valued at $272m.
Craigmore has placed 2816ha of native forest under some form of additional legal or physical protection and has planted 202ha in natives stands and for waterway protection.
A biodiversity program this year shows a significant increase in kiwi sightings at the Wiroa kiwifruit orchard in Northland, and critically threatened endemic mudfish have been observed in a restored waterway on Somerset dairy farm in Canterbury.