Kempen and PostNL Launch Sustainable Farmland Fund

Kempen and the pension fund PostNL have completed their first investment, 190 hectares in the Aljustrel area, as part of a €20-million investment plan for Portugal.

In a joint venture with the Stichting Pensioenfonds PostNL, Kempen Capital Management has launched the SDG Farmland Fund. The new investment solution enables professional investors to focus on investments in farmland while providing a significant and concrete contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The launch is a clear sign of the appetite, among international investors, for acquiring rural properties in Portugal offering high returns, showing an increasing interest in agriculture.

The SDG Farmland Fund was created to offer an attractive return on investment and actively promote a shift towards more sustainable food production. To this end, concrete and measurable indicators (KPIs) have been identified in climate change, soil health, biodiversity, water quality and resource use.

The SDG Farmlandfund’s first investment was completed on March 15. The fund acquired a 190-hectare olive grove in Alentejo. The orchard uses water from the Alqueva irrigation area, a large-scale irrigation network around the largest artificial reservoir in Europe. It offers sustainable and permanent water rights and, therefore, employment to a new generation of olive, almond, walnut growers, among others, in a technically outstanding and sustainable way. A mix of new olive and almond trees are expected to be planted over the coming three months on 800 to 1000 hectares of land.

The Kempen SDG Farmland Fund aims to offer attractive long-term returns for its investors by investing in farmland worldwide. Sustainable development goals are an explicit part of the investment strategy, subject to annual measurement and reporting. The focus is on investments in sustainable agriculture and agricultural land located in OECD countries. The fund will invest in various types of crops, both permanent and annual. The majority of investments are expected to occur in North America, Western Europe and Oceania (including Australia and New Zealand).

Translation: Richard D K Turner