HSBC Asset Management-backed natural capital investment manager Climate Asset Management is to purchase 1,900 hectares of farmland in Spain and Portugal from food processing firm Borges International Group for between €80m and €90m.

The acquisition will be financed by Climate Asset Management’s Natural Capital Strategy (NCS). 

This diversified brownfield regenerative agriculture project comprising almond, walnut and pistachio tree nut orchards, will include the transition to regenerative practices adopting a holistic land management approach to orchard management.  

The project is NCS’s third farmland project in Iberia, bolstering and providing further crop diversification to the strategy’s existing agricultural portfolio of almonds, olives and macadamias.

The brownfield project, which NCS said has a proven production track record, will provide it with ”a valuable baseline case against which regenerative management practices can be assessed”. 

The manager added that these regenerative practices, being implemented in partnership with Bolschare, include the introduction of cover cropping, enhancing soil organic matter, increasing resilience, improving water efficiency and reducing synthetic chemical use. In addition, more than 10% of the land will be managed specifically for nature, to improve biodiversity and encourage native flora and fauna.

Ben O’Donnell, CIO of Climate Asset Management’s Natural Capital Strategy, said: “We are excited about the opportunity to increase crop diversification within the portfolio with the introduction of pistachios and walnuts.  We should be able to see the difference made by introducing regenerative practices against the historical performance of the farms. 

”It is clear that there is a growing appetite among institutional investors for opportunities in natural capital to rebalance investment portfolios targeting nature positive and net zero.  We are continuing to raise and deploy funds for our Natural Capital Strategy through a healthy pipeline of projects in ANZ, North America and Europe.”

Climate Asset Management is working with Bolschare Agriculture, an experienced local operating partner that already manages NCS assets and is an industry leader in tree nut orchards management. Bolschare Agriculture will be supported by the project’s existing team.

Pedro Foles, CEO of Bolschare Agriculture, said: “We are excited to have the opportunity to grow our partnership with Climate Asset Management and be involved in this large-scale diversified brownfield project that will have a great positive impact in our portfolio, and will help our two companies grow together towards a net zero carbon future.”

In September last year, Climate Asset Management acquired 1,800 hectares of farmland in Queensland, Australia for a macadamia project.

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