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Rest gains agriculture exposure in latest impact investment

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By Jessica Penny
  •  
3 minute read

The $75 billion fund has gained exposure to sustainable food production in its first alternatives impact investment.

Rest has expanded its impact and alternative allocations with an investment in agriculture-focused Cibus Fund II.

Advised by Cibus Capital LLP, Cibus Fund ll provides exposure through investment opportunities related to the food value chain.

The move marks the first impact investment for Rest’s alternative asset class and brings the fund closer to its goal of achieving a 1 per cent allocation to impact investments across its total portfolio by 2026.

According to Rest’s head of responsible investment and sustainability, Leilani Weier, sustainable food production and agriculture practices not only offer value potential to Rest members but have a significant part to play in the global transition to net zero.

“Through our investment in Cibus Fund II, Rest is growing its exposure to the dynamic and sustainable future of agriculture,” Ms Weier noted.

She expects the investment to generate exposure to mid-market agriculture companies that own real assets with profit-generating potential, bringing both diversity benefits to its alternatives portfolio and long-term value for members.

“As a super fund representing one in five young Australians, we believe impact investing represents a powerful opportunity for us to grow our members’ super, while helping to build a more sustainable future.

“The allocation provides exposure to initiatives at the forefront of modern agriculture and opportunities that address the growing need for environmental plantings and natural assets.”

Namely, Cibus Fund II’s investments include a major producer and supplier of vegetable seedlings to growers across Eastern Australia, pursuing plans to create more sustainable water and waste management practices through automation and robotics, and is targeting environmental planting opportunities in Australia.

“Cibus is delighted to partner with Rest, who has shown leadership by channelling capital towards companies who are shaping the future of food,” commented Rob Appleby, chief investment officer of Cibus Capital.

Mr Appleby added: “By combining commercial logic, technology and sustainable outcomes to each investment we make, we have demonstrated that the industry can produce healthier food, use resources more efficiently and meet its nature-based target.”

Cibus Fund II marks Rest’s third impact investment, following Rest’s capital commitments to the Palisade Impact Fund and specialist private equity firm ARCHIMED.