NAB has announced it has entered into an agreement for a proposed $10 million investment in New Harvest’s Indigenous Impact Investment Fund. The New Harvest Fund is being established to invest in land which it will operate in cooperation with Indigenous corporations and traditional owners, in turn increasing the agribusiness expertise of these groups.
NAB Group Executive Business and Private Banking, Andrew Irvine, said there was significant potential for NAB to support sustainable Indigenous business growth and prosperity for Indigenous Australians.
“We have listened to Indigenous Australians’ concerns regarding the barriers they continue to experience when attempting to establish and grow their businesses. This investment opportunity is about finding more innovative ways to unlock the potential of businesses operated by Indigenous Australians, contributing to a stronger Australian economy,” Mr Irvine said.
“Business has an integral role to play in strengthening Indigenous leadership and creating opportunities for Indigenous communities to succeed.
“This investment is an opportunity to support the sustainable commercialisation of Indigenous Australian assets for current and future generations, whilst providing training and employment opportunities.
“Working together with Indigenous Australia, we want to strengthen financial resilience, increase business and employment opportunities, and develop NAB’s cultural capabilities.”
Once established, the New Harvest Fund will acquire a portfolio of agricultural assets to operate in cooperation with Indigenous operators. These complementary assets will aim to achieve greater Indigenous economic, social and cultural benefits, along with the target return for investors. By cooperatively operating its assets and those held by Indigenous corporations and traditional owners, the New Harvest Fund will seek to deliver higher value produce, cost efficiencies and more predictable operational yields.
NAB’s investment is subject to various conditions, including the New Harvest Fund raising a minimum of $51 million from both the founders of the New Harvest Fund and other investors. Additional debt funding from NAB may be provided, dependent on the ultimate size of the New Harvest Fund and the operational entity meeting NAB’s lending requirements.
The New Harvest Fund will be led by Simon Gray who has previously held positions of Managing Director and Head of Trading at a number of investment banks. The management team will include independent industry experts and Indigenous representation.
“The New Harvest Fund aims to support and promote sustainable agribusiness operations which will have a direct and positive impact on Indigenous business and communities,” Mr Irvine added.
“Supporting the New Harvest Fund aligns with our ambition to drive commercial responses to society’s biggest challenges. This includes the priorities of Indigenous business, climate action and affordable and specialist housing.”
Notes to the editor:
- In early 2022, NAB launched its Indigenous business strategy, with the aspiration to be the bank that backs Indigenous business. To realise this aspiration, NAB established its Indigenous Business Banking team – a specialist team of bankers who understand the Indigenous business sector to build the best and most compelling Indigenous business service proposition to meet the needs of Indigenous business customers.
- NAB supports an Indigenous Voice to Parliament and acknowledges Australia’s First Nations people as the Traditional Custodians of the land and their continuing connection to country, sea and water. We pay respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.
- NAB’s vision for reconciliation is to support the economic advancement and financial aspirations of Indigenous people. This reflects NAB’s ambition to serve customers well and help our communities prosper. We continue to strive for reconciliation through our actions and have had an Elevate level Reconciliation Action Plan in place since 2013.