iPartners Tasmanian Farming Fund featured on Ausbiz

Posted on
16th September 2021
By Shannon Turnbull

iPartners Tasmanian Farming Fund featured on Ausbiz

Mark Sherwood interview on Ausbiz (By Shannon Turnbull, 16th September 2021)

Watch hereL  Tasmanian Dairy Farm - Ausbiz interview

Today Mark Sherwood spoke with Nadine Blayney about the recently launched iPartners Tasmanian Farming Fund and co-investor Compass Agribusiness Management Ltd.

Transcript below:

Let's get to an investable idea that ticks pretty much all the boxes. 

It's ESG friendly, it encompasses our finest agricultural industries and apparently it could make you 8% a year. 

The catch? It's in Tassie. 

Well, for more on all of this let's bring in Mark Sherwood from iPartners. 

Hey, welcome to the programme again. 

So last time it was koalas. What are we talking about here? 

Are we talking about fish, are we talking about dairy? 

Yeah thanks, Nadine and nice to see you again. 

We're really talking about a unique agricultural investment opportunity in large-scale dairy farming. And I think agriculture as a sector has always been quite difficult for private investors, particularly to access, unless they are very much on the ground in the Ag sector 

themselves or, of course, very highly connected to people that are in the Ag sector. In this opportunity, we are talking about large scale dairy farming with locations across Tasmania. So that is the proceeds of this equity capital raising that we're participating in will be essentially used to require a portfolio of four Tasmanian dairy farms. 

That, of course, includes their associated water entitlements, which is very, very important. 

It includes their plan and their equipment. 

But of course, it includes their livestock as well. Were actually co-investing alongside a highly experienced manager in dairy farming that is Compass Agribusiness who have a very strong track 

record going back to 2009 in both New Zealand as well as here in Australia. 

Okay, so what are the risks? Because we're talking about agriculture. 

Every conversation I have with every analyst about agriculture, whether they like it or not, talks about the cyclicality. Not just in weather, but in demand. 

So how do you as an investor, help to mitigate some of that risk? 

Yeah, sure. 

Look, in terms of the product is coming out of these Tasmanian dairy farms, We're really talking about core essential food. 

So the demand for the product is very, very consistent. 

You know, it's you and I shopping at our local Coles and Woolworths. 

The biggest risk for dairy farming in general is actually the access to water and the consistency of water. 

Because obviously, if you don't have water, you have to buy feed and that costs a lot of money, and that hurts the productivity or profitability of the enterprise. 

The key element to this particular opportunity and why we're so comfortable to partner with Compass Agribusiness in this opportunity is because the four farms that they are acquiring are in very key spots across Tasmania, where water supplies are very, very consistent. 

In fact, Tasmania as an anecdote only represents about 1% of Australia's landmass, but it actually receives about 13% of Australia's total annual rainfall. 

These four farms, three of them are located in the beautiful Derwent Valley, so they have access and water rights to the water in the Derwent River, whilst the fourth property is up in the central-northern midlands region of Tasmania. 

That's about an hour from Hobart, and that has substantial water rights up there as well. 

Okay, and now who is the co-partner in this? 

Yeah, so iPartners are investing directly with the Compass Agribusiness business and Compass take responsibility and ownership and management of the acquisition of the dairy farms. And then the ongoing maintenance of them 

Got it. 

What's ESG about it again? Remind us, because ESG is something that is often attached and often little explained as well. 

Yeah, and ESG you know, I think means different things to different people. 

In this instance, you're talking about beautiful pieces of land, you're talking about protected farmland in Tasmania. 

Obviously, that's producing core food that we all need to consume. 

So, in terms of the valleys that that they work in, the Derwent Valley is a spectacular part of Tasmania, particularly. These on the ground farmers that take responsibility and management for the farms work very, very closely with the local people. 

They're very, very well known in the local towns, they have to be and obviously they always put the land first in their approach.