Queensland super fund throws support behind huge CQ farm
BEEF, barras and now macadamia nuts. Rockhampton's produce scene is definitely on the rise and catching the eye of one investor in particular.
Queensland-based superannuation fund, LGIAsuper, has thrown its support behind the Fitzroy River macadamia farm at RMR Orchard near Yaamba, by purchasing a share of the farm.
The 600-hectare property, 32km north-west of Rockhampton, is one of the largest macadamia farms in the state and boasts around 100,000 trees.
LGIAsuper's Head of Investment, Guy Rundle, said the fund was focused on building a diversified agricultural portfolio to benefit its members.
"Over the past 10 years, LGIAsuper's alternative investments, including agricultural assets like the Central Queensland Livestock Exchange, have collectively provided solid investment returns and superior diversification benefits,” Mr Rundle said.
"The Fitzroy River macadamia farm is a sound investment for our members from a financial standpoint, and also because it is supporting an industry that provides jobs and strengthens the Central Queensland economy.
"As a profit-for-member fund, these fundamentals are important because everything we do is focused on making sure our members get the best return from the most reliable assets.”
Mr Rundle said the Fitzroy River macadamia farm was a well-run property, with mature trees, a prime location and eight permanent staff.
The farm also provides employment of up to seven more staff during harvest time.
The farm's nuts are processed locally and sold domestically and overseas.
"The export market for Queensland macadamias is strong and sustainable, with growing demand from China in recent years and continued demand from established and emerging markets,” Mr Rundle said.
"The farm's proximity to a major regional centre provides good access to logistics, local contractors for specialised tasks, services and staff.
"There are also solid opportunities for macadamias domestically, given Australia is the nut's highest per capita consumer.”
Mr Rundle said the macadamia farm was an important component of LGIAsuper's diversified Australian agricultural portfolio, which includes a variety of crops and farming systems.
"This property is our first investment in tree nuts and complements our other assets because macadamias have very different crop economics to the remainder of the portfolio,” he said.
"This is important to buffer the cyclical and seasonal challenges associated with agriculture and to support solid returns for our members.
"Most of our members are Queenslanders and we are committed to investing for growth for them and for Central Queensland.”