Tuesday, 23 April 2024 12:55

Bank's desire to be part of the solution

Written by  Jessica Marshall
ASB general manager rural banking, Aidan Gent. ASB general manager rural banking, Aidan Gent.

ASB says the decision to sign on to the AgriZeroNZ joint venture came out of a wish to be a part of the solution.

Earlier this month, it was announced that the bank – along with ANZ and a2 Milk Company – signed on as shareholders in the public-private joint venture formed to help farmers reduce emissions while maintaining profitability and productivity.

AgriZeroNZ was established last year and focuses on emissions reduction tools that will work on New Zealand’s pasture-based farms and grass-fed animals.

ASB general manager rural banking, Aidan Gent, says the bank is “proud” of the role its farming and growing customers play and recognises how hard they work to become more sustainable.

“We want to be part of the solution that addresses all farmers’ need for accessible and effective tools that will help them futureproof their businesses, while maintaining productivity and profitability,” Gent told Rural News.

He says the bank was impressed by AgriZeroNZ’s mission and thinks it will inspire innovation within the food and fibre sector, adding that the bank is excited to be on board and part of change.

“Ultimately, we felt it was the right thing to do to back farmers across Aotearoa,” he says.

Gent says this investment is just one of several initiatives ASB is working on to “transition to a more sustainable future”.

Meanwhile, AgriZeroNZ director Fraser Whineray says the move strengthens the joint venture’s focus on supporting farmers and securing the sector’s future.

“I’m pleased more of the private sector is joining us to back farmers - reinforcing our ambition and demonstrating their commitment to ensuring farmers can reduce emissions and maintain their competitive edge on the world stage,” Whineray says.

“The addition of more banks reflects a growing emphasis on sustainable finance and sends a strong message that the finance industry is actively supporting farmers to achieve real progress,” he adds.

Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says the AgriZeroNZ joint venture is accelerating the development, commercialisation and adoption of practical tools and solutions for farmers to meet international climate change obligations.

“I am pleased to welcome The a2 Milk Company, ANZ Bank New Zealand and ASB Bank as new shareholders of AgriZeroNZ,” he says.

He says the investment from the new shareholders shows the increasing commitment of New Zealand businesses to help get emission reduction tools into the hands of farmers sooner.

“With the backing of both government and private sector companies, New Zealand will be a global leader in developing the tools, technologies, and practices to drive down agricultural emissions while maintaining the productivity and profitability of our food and fibre sector,” he explains.

The two banks and milk processor join ANZCO, Fonterra, Rabobank, Ravensdown, Silver Fern Farms and Synlait as shareholders, with the government retaining its 50% stake in the venture via the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). The move takes AgriZeroNZ’s total funds to $183 million over its first four years.

More like this

JV invests in race for methane 'holy grail'

AgriZeroNZ, the joint venture (JV) fast-tracking emissions reduction tools for Kiwi farmers, is looking to speed up delivery of a methane vaccine with a $10m investment in US ag-biotech start-up, ArkeaBio.

Struggling? Give us a call

ASB head of rural banking Aidan Gent is encouraging farmers to speak to their banks when they are struggling.

$8 final milk price likely

An $8/kgMS farm gate milk price is still on the cards with less than six weeks left to run this season.

Featured

Viability of farming questioned

People are starting to question the viability of sheep and beef farming as profitability in that sector falls to one of its all-time lows, according to Federated Farmers board member and Gisborne sheep and beef farm, Toby Williams.

Zespri's net profit down $60m

Kiwifruit exporter and marketer Zespri has reported a $60 million drop in net profit, mainly driven by reduced licence revenue from lower pricing per hectare than 2022/23.

UAE FTA welcome news

The dairy and red meat sectors have welcomed news that New Zealand will begin formal negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) with the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

National

Flock House and its secrets

Plans are in place to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the legendary Flock House opening its doors for the first…

$160 billion cargo shipment deal

New Zealand’s major primary industry exporters have secured shipping capability to export $160 billion worth of products over the next…

Play by the rules

Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says the Government is always working to ensure that our food exporters are treated…

Machinery & Products

GPS in control

In a move that will make harvesting operations easier, particularly in odd-shaped paddocks, Kuhn has announced that GPS section control…

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

True colours

OPINION: The watermelon party (AKA the Greens) try to portray themselves as an upright, self-righteous, caring bunch of woke, bicycle-riding…

Peace at last?

OPINION: Good news for hunters as Forest & Bird have "paused" legal action against the Fiordland Wapiti Foundation and agreed…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter