Australian carbon farming project developer and manager Corporate Carbon Group has launched an asset management and agribusiness arm to “accelerate the transformation to an environmentally-driven agriculture industry.”
The business, called Paniri Agricultural Co, is wholly owned by Corporate Carbon, which itself is privately owned and fully controlled by its directors Gary Wyatt, Matthew Warnken and Julian Turecek.
Corporate Carbon established Paniri following the recent acquisition of the Holroyd aggregation, comprising the Holroyd River, Crystalvale and Yarraden cattle stations on the Cape York Peninsula in Queensland. This aggregation, alongside the Watson River station purchased by the firm in September 2022, will see Paniri manage a portfolio covering almost 522,000ha.
The Holroyd aggregation accounts for around 40 percent of Paniri’s portfolio, which the firm said “cements the strategic approach of the company to leverage the combination of agricultural production – starting with cattle – in complement with carbon projects, to unlock growth opportunities within the industry.”
A spokeswoman for Paniri Agricultural Co and Corporate Carbon Group said it was too early to comment on future investment priorities but said in a statement: “Paniri will be seeking further investment to grow its assets under management. An advisor has been engaged and will be approaching the institutional market shortly.”
There is currently no third-party capital, including private equity capital, invested in Corporate Carbon Group.
Rory Whitefield, chief agribusiness officer for Corporate Carbon, has been appointed CEO of Paniri Agricultural Co.
Gary Wyatt, managing director of Corporate Carbon, will serve as chairman of Paniri. Wyatt said in a statement: “As a company that’s been engaged in the carbon farming industry from the very start, we’ve combined this experience with the best in agribusiness, creating a unique opportunity for us to drive positive impact at scale with Paniri Agricultural Co.
“It’s our view that agriculture and the environment can exist in balance, where our approach will reduce emissions while improving agricultural production – promoting sustainability by increasing biodiversity and improving the soil, pastures, natural vegetation and ecosystems.
“In taking the approach to blend the methodologies of our carbon projects with agriculture, it’s our aim to contribute positively to the challenges facing the ag sector, in particular the cattle industry and its environmental footprint. It’s an important challenge and we don’t have all the answers, but [we] believe the co-benefits of the dual activities could help secure the future of agriculture and set us up to become a leading natural asset manager.”
Other asset managers involved in Australia’s cattle industry have sought to pursue carbon farming initiatives, most notably Packhorse Pastoral Company in recent years. Packhorse put its portfolio of three assets up for sale in 2022 following the death of executive director Tom Strachan.