Australian agricultural investment firm launches $300m capital raise to drive investment into the transformation of natural capital assets  

thumbnail_Image Three Liam Leneghan

GoFarm founder and managing director Liam Leneghan

GoFarm has launched a new agriculture fund, which aims to transform underutilised land into high-yield investments such as horticulture crops.  

Founder and managing director Liam Lenaghan said the Responsible Agriculture Fund provides an exciting opportunity for the investment community to capture the best of the opportunities present within this profound capital gap. 

“The feedback we’ve had from investors is that they’d like fund exposure where they can get four or five of our best ideas in one investment, giving them geographical spread across a number of climate zones, water sources and crop types. This is what the Responsible Agriculture Fund will deliver,” Lenaghan said. 

GoFarm has secured a water-rich development asset which will seed the fund and continues to assess a A$700m transaction pipeline for further acquisitions. 

Qantas Super has announced it will invest A$200m with GoFarm into horticultural projects in New South Wales ’s Riverina, northern Victoria and other parts of Australia.    

Of this, A$150m has already been allocated to two GoFarm assets: Riverina Trust and Sandmount Farms. According to Qantas Super, this capital will unlock substantial value by converting more than 5,000ha of land with substantial water holdings into high yielding, water efficient horticultural crops.  

GoFarm, which has also committed more than A$100 m of its own capital to its projects, has A$1.1bn in assets under management making it one of Australia’s leading producers of field tomatoes, and one of the largest producers of almonds and citrus. It stewards 88,000ha and 94,000ML of water across New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.    

“Australia is close to growing markets, with agri-exports already sitting at A$80bn and 3bn consumers about to enter the global middle class by 2050. With the Australian dollar at decade lows, and unprecedented interest in climate-smart investment opportunities and demand for high quality agriproducts, there has never been a better time to invest in Australian agriculture,” Lenaghan said. 

“GoFarm is tapping into this dynamic with capital, agri-expertise, water and technology to transform underutilised farmland into higher value and water efficient crops, unlocking the full potential of our assets. That’s what we will do with these farms in New South Wales and Victoria, together with Qantas Super.”  

Andrew Spence, chief investment officer at Qantas Super, said this investment not only underscores the fund’s confidence in GoFarm as an agriculture manager, but also highlights the immense potential of the agricultural sector.  

“At Qantas Super, we’re committed to identifying investment opportunities that deliver strong financial returns to our members while aligning with our values of sustainability and responsible ownership,” Spence said. 

“This investment with GoFarm aligns with these objectives, providing access to high quality investment opportunities that offer strong long-term returns. As agriculture specialists GoFarm has a clear plan to drive productivity gains, responsible agricultural practices and generate returns for investors. We’re excited about what this partnership will yield for members.” 

Lawd senior director, Danny Thomas, regarded one of nation’s leading agribusiness transaction advisors, said the fund is being launched at the right time. 

“Australian agriculture is primed for investment, with best-in-class research, technology and farming practices producing high-quality, ethically produced food for global markets,” he said. 

“However, farm managers and operators also need to know what they’re doing. Good farming operators draw on specialist knowledge and expertise to identify assets with great potential for transformation to highest and best use, investing in technologies, infrastructure and commodities that will drive highest value returns. 

“GoFarm is a business that does this as well as anyone and is ready to drive the growth our sector is capable of achieving.” 

Lenaghan said GoFarm is focused on excellence in execution.  

“From team capacity and capability to acquisition behaviour and operational performance, we have dedicated agricultural specialists in all facets of the business,” he said.  “We’ve got the track record to support taking a fund to market and we’re thrilled to be finally bringing this offering to investors.”