A farming future where practical strategies and partnerships lead the way

We’re proud to work closely with our agri customers to meet the challenges posed by changing climate and market conditions and help farmers and growers meet their sustainability goals.

Rising temperatures, market pressures, and more frequent extreme weather events are bringing a sharp focus to the challenges faced by all sectors of our economy, including farmers.

The Ministry for the Environment’s Our atmosphere and Climate 2023 Report confirms eight of the ten warmest years on record occurred in the last decade. Consequently, agriculture and horticulture growing seasons are lengthening, and frost days are declining around much of New Zealand. It also notes, as evident on many farms, annual rainfall during the last 60 years has changed in most places, with the south becoming wetter and the north and east becoming drier.

New challenges for farmers

A recent report by Our Land and Water – which interviewed over 280 leaders in agribusiness, Māori enterprises, policy makers and academics – found climate change, extreme weather events, and water quality are three of the biggest challenges likely to affect agriculture in Aotearoa over the next decade.

Many farmers and growers are already adapting to these changing conditions, finding new ways to manage their businesses in an increasingly challenging environment. Some have implemented edge-of-field and riparian native planting, funded through green and sustainably linked loans. These provide co-benefits of biodiversity gains, shelter from heat and wind, and provide a buffer for nitrate-rich runoff.

Climate actions can have additional benefits

We are also working alongside customers taking up green loans for irrigation improvements. One converted from border dyke or travelling irrigators to centre pivot irrigation, leading to a reduction of more than 50% in water usage. With water availability and storage being increasingly important, reduction of water use makes both economic and environmental sense.

As with other on-farm sustainability initiatives, the conversion to spray irrigation has co-benefits, helping reduce animal heat stress, and up to a 50% reduction in nitrate leaching in light soils.

What we can offer to our customers

Providing financial products, such as Agri-Sustainability Linked Loans and Green Loans, we’re able to support customers to transition to more resilient and regenerative business models. Not only does this lead to greater social and environmental outcomes, it also makes strong business sense.

As the second largest agribusiness lender in New Zealand, we’re proud of our heritage of backing farmers for over 150 years. We’re ambitious for the future of New Zealand’s agribusiness sector, and we’re focused on supporting and incentivising our customers to continue working hard to achieve their environmental and climate goals.

For a limited time we’re currently offering a market-leading, low-cost rate with our Green Asset Finance loan, which farmers can use to buy items, like electric cars, bikes, trucks, and electric ride on mowers, or even tractors.

If they’re not in the market for a new electric vehicle, we can still help with our Green Business loans, which provide farmers with competitively priced financing to support investment opportunities, such as riparian and shade planting.

The Green Business Loan can also support irrigation efficiency improvements, herd homes and agricultural technology products, providing co-benefits, such as on-farm efficiency, biodiversity and resilience gains.

Working together to find a way

We recognise the collaborative nature of emissions reduction, adaptation, and transformative change efforts. We’re working to ensure that our Agribusiness bankers possess the right capabilities and expertise , so they can discuss and help our customers with emissions reduction opportunities, insights on greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation, and best-demonstrated operational practices.

The road to sustainability is a shared journey – together, let’s find a way.

For more information on our own targets and climate strategy, explore our sustainability reports.

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