Meat & Livestock News

Bank Commits to Agricultural Sustainability

TL;DR:  ASB joins AgriZeroNZ, a venture aiding farmers to reduce emissions without losing profitability, backed by significant investment, enhancing New Zealand’s leadership in sustainable agricultural practices.

ASB Bank has officially joined the AgriZeroNZ joint venture, affirming its commitment to being a part of the environmental solution within the agricultural sector.

Collaborative Efforts for a Greener Future

This initiative was unveiled earlier this month when ASB, along with ANZ and the a2 Milk Company, became shareholders in this innovative public-private partnership. AgriZeroNZ, established last year, aims to equip farmers with cutting-edge tools to reduce emissions without sacrificing profitability or productivity. These tools are specifically designed for New Zealand’s pasture-based farming systems, which primarily involve grass-fed animals.

ASB’s Proactive Role

Aidan Gent, ASB’s general manager of rural banking, expressed pride in the bank’s agricultural clients, acknowledging their efforts toward sustainable practices. “We aim to support all farmers by providing them with effective and accessible tools that ensure their businesses are sustainable for the future, without compromising productivity,” Gent explained in an interview with Rural News.

He added that AgriZeroNZ’s mission to foster innovation within the food and fibre sector was a key factor in their decision to invest. “Joining this venture felt like the right step to support our farmers throughout Aotearoa,” Gent remarked.

Wider Industry Support

The inclusion of ASB and others strengthens AgriZeroNZ’s resources and extends its impact, noted Fraser Whineray, the venture’s director. “It’s heartening to see more private sector engagement. This reinforces our goal to help farmers reduce their emissions and remain globally competitive,” Whineray stated.

Agriculture Minister Todd McClay applauded the new shareholders for accelerating the deployment of practical solutions to meet international climate obligations. “This collaboration between government and private sectors positions New Zealand as a leader in developing agricultural technologies that reduce emissions while enhancing farm productivity and profitability,” McClay said.

Significant Financial Commitment

With the new investments, AgriZeroNZ’s funding has reached $183 million over four years, showing significant financial backing from both government and private entities, including ANZCO, Fonterra, Rabobank, Ravensdown, Silver Fern Farms, and Synlait. The government retains a 50% stake through the Ministry for Primary Industries, ensuring a balanced governance structure.