As the custodians of more than half of Australia’s land mass, farmers have long been on the frontline of driving sustainable practices. A leading example of what is possible when it comes to environmentally friendly farming is the Leather Cattle Company in Banana, Queensland.
Rob and Melinee Leather, along with their son Adam and his wife Chloe, own and operate Leather Cattle Company and have long been a driving force for sustainable farming and strong advocates for sustainable agriculture across Australia.
Since establishing a successful organic farm and being certified as an Australian humane producer, the team are now looking to take the next step in their sustainability journey by reducing the farm’s emissions and increasing soil carbon storage across the property.
Using NAB’s first Agri Green Loan as part of a pilot by the Bank to reach the industry’s ambitious sustainability goals, the Leather’s will be planting 1200ha of a special legume. The legume, known as Leucaena has been shown to reduce emissions intensity of livestock by 20-40% across grazing spaces which will be transformative for the property.
“During the next 10 years we hope to show how our biodiversity, water quality and farm productivity is improving and all whilst demonstrating that we can be carbon neutral too,” Melinee said.
“What we really want to showcase is how productive cattle grazing can go hand in hand with addressing climate challenges.”
NAB Executive Regional and Agribusiness, Julie Rynski, said developing Australia’s first NAB Agri Green Loan was a proud moment for the country’s largest agribusiness bank.
Julie said: “The investment the Leathers are making is a great example of how farmers can improve sustainability, resilience and long-term profitability. We all need to work together to identify and support these opportunities to ensure the long-term success of Australia’s agriculture sector.”
Having achieved the highest score for the banking and financial services sector in Australia in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI), the Bank is now looking to embed sustainability into the role of bankers right across the team.
“NAB’s agribusiness bankers are being trained to more deeply understanding climate- related risks and opportunities and to be leaders in helping our farmers to adapt or build resilience,” Julie added.
NAB’s Agri Green Loan is currently in pilot phase with select customers. A national launch is expected in 2022.