Sustainability for all seasons

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Twelve pioneering agribusinesses are the focus of the 2015 NAB Agribusiness calendar, with each business owner talking about how they are realising the ‘natural value’ in their business.

Khan Horne, General Manager NAB Agribusiness, said traditionally banks have tended to look at just cash flows and balance sheets of a business when making investment decisions, but that is changing at NAB with the announcement of NAB’s natural value strategy.

“NAB is setting itself apart from our competitors. We are financing initiatives that are focused on the long term strength and viability of the sector. We’re making these investments because we know that farmers who effectively manage their natural capital assets, such as water, soil and energy resources, generally have a more robust and resilient business model,” Mr Horne said.

 

Helen Dornam of Dairy Australia said as an industry it is really important to recognise natural capital.

“We do a lot of things on farms, and everybody is only looking at dollars in and dollars out, rather than what they are doing to invest for the future,” Ms Dornam said.

“The natural value capital project NAB is embarking on is really important for us.

“It is about sustainability, about enhancing livelihoods, improving well-being and reducing our environmental impact.”

Skybury Coffee’s Ian McLaughlin and Jillamatong’s Martin Royds have spoken about how they use their natural capital to their business advantage.

“I grow papaya, bananas and coffee – and all I’ve got is hectares and I want those hectares to work,” Mr McLaughlin said.

Cattle-farmer Mr Royds said that when you understand the biological processes you can work with the land rather than against it.

“I call myself a regenerative farmer, Like my father before me, you want to leave the land in a better state,”Mr Royds said.

“What I’d like to see is farmers getting paid for nutrient-dense food. To produce that health food, you can only do that by having health soil. And in the process of doing that, you have healthy water, healthy air, happy people – and we’ve got happy cows.”

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