BNZ latest big name to invest in AgriZeroNZ

Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) is the latest business to join the growing lineup of private sector companies backing AgriZeroNZ, alongside government, to get emissions reduction tools into Kiwi farmers’ hands sooner.

Announcing the new shareholder today, Hon Todd McClay, Minister for Agriculture & Trade, confirmed the government would match BNZ’s $4 million investment, boosting AgriZeroNZ’s funds by $8milllion to total $191 million.

BNZ joins The a2 Milk Company, ANZ Bank New Zealand, ANZCO Foods, ASB Bank, Fonterra, Rabobank, Ravensdown, Silver Fern Farms and Synlait with a combined 50% shareholding of the joint venture (JV). With the government’s increased investment, it owns the remaining half through the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

AgriZeroNZ Board Chair, Sir Brian Roche KNZM, says this provides a welcome boost in funds to achieve the JV’s ambition and maintain the multibillion-dollar agricultural export trade.

“I’m pleased more of the private sector is joining us to help get practical tools into farmers’ hands.

“New Zealand farmers are highly efficient producers of milk and meat for the world, but global companies that pay a premium for these products – such as McDonald’s, Nestlé, Danone, Tesco and Sainsbury’s – are all pushing deep into their supply chain for emissions reduction, with ambitious scope 3 targets.

“These customers want to see more progress and we need to act now, or we risk losing these high-end customers and potentially breaching trade agreements. Further to this, competitor markets with more intensive farms are getting access to new tools to reduce emissions so they could take our place in supplying these customers.

“There is a very real and very disruptive risk to our agricultural sector from the need to reduce emissions but there is also an opportunity to stay among the most efficient producers in the world if we can get the right tools to our farmers.

“We’re confident that with our ambition, expertise, and increasing reach through the private sector, we’ll have 2-3 tools in widespread use by 2030.”

Sir Brian Roche KNZM, AgriZeroNZ Board Chair, says the JV Is confident it will have 2-3 tools in widespread use by 2030

BNZ CEO Dan Huggins says the bank is pleased to support AgriZeroNZ and partner with government and some of the country’s largest primary sector businesses to back its farming customers by investing in tools to help reduce emissions and maintain New Zealand’s competitive advantage in agriculture.

“BNZ has a long history of banking New Zealand farmers, and over that time we have worked alongside our farming customers as they have continually adapted and innovated to meet changing market dynamics.

“This public-private partnership approach to addressing on farm emissions continues that tradition, helping to ensure New Zealand maintains a resilient and productive agricultural sector into the future,” he says.

Dan Huggins, BNZ CEO, says it is investing in tools to help reduce emissions and maintain New Zealand’s competitive advantage in agriculture.

AgriZeroNZ is a world-first public-private partnership with an ambition to ensure all farmers in Aotearoa New Zealand have equitable access to affordable, effective solutions to reduce biogenic methane and nitrous oxide emissions, supporting a 30% reduction by 2030 and drive towards ‘near zero’ by 2040.

Since being established in February 2023, the JV has committed more than $29M across 10 high impact opportunities to bring emissions reduction solutions to market for Kiwi farmers. This includes a methane-inhibiting bolus, novel probiotics, methane vaccine development, and low emissions pasture.

It recently raised $18million from The a2 Milk Company, ANZ Bank New Zealand and ASB Bank becoming shareholders in April, with their funding also matched by government.

AgriZeroNZ has over 77 potential investment opportunities on its radar for review as it continues scanning the globe for solutions which could work on New Zealand farms, to invest and drive development towards a pasture-based solution. It is also working with officials to clarify the regulatory pathway in New Zealand for tools to be used on-farm.