Stuart’s Creek kicks off Packhorse cattle-carbon fund

Packhorse managing director Geoff Murrell and his team aim to acquire a string of properties from Coonamble to Taroom.

A NEW investment company that combines cattle grazing with carbon sequestration has looked to southwest Qld for its first property. Packhorse Pastoral Company bought 8360-hectare Stuart’s Creek, 45km northwest of Roma, as part of a $1.5-billion acquisition plan to deploy restoration practices on a large scale in Australia.

The purchase followed the company’s first round of fundraising that secured $62.5m. Chairman Tim Samway said the response confirmed investors’ desire for opportunities that delivered environmental impact combined with strong returns.

“We are very pleased with the confident response from the investment community to this unique opportunity,” he said in a press release. “Our mission to build the greatest land custodian, land restoration and beef supply chain business in the world is supported by our new shareholders in the company.

“We have many high-net worth individuals now interested in our next fund raise. We know the expected financial returns generated by our business model are solid, but it’s the additional value of our environmental impact and the potential for carbon sequestration that has captured the attention of investors.

“National conversations about the opportunities in regenerative agriculture are becoming commonplace. Essentially, we’re giving people an opportunity to buy into a business underwritten by high-class agricultural assets that will have a positive impact on the climate, our environment and our food supply.

 “Furthermore, an investment will produce regular income from a non-correlated asset class with a long history of consistent capital growth. Our investors are acutely aware of the financial opportunities that come with the increasing demand for organisations to become carbon neutral. Packhorse is currently deploying sizeable programs to generate carbon credits which have the potential to provide long-term upside for our investors.”

Samway said the Stuart’s Creek property was premium pastoral land with good water sources and grass cover. It satisfied Packhorse’s acquisition criteria that enabled the company to meet its environmental and financial obligations through principles of regenerative agriculture.

“Our team, led by Packhorse managing director and expert cattle property manager Geoff Murrell, is looking forward to realising the land improvement opportunities at Stuart’s Creek and implementing the Packhorse process to achieve optimal biodiversity,” Samway said.

The company’s scientific team assessed pasture to calculate a baseline level of soil organic carbon before introducing plants, grasses and cultures to the soil. Introduction of specific flora, combined with higher livestock grazing density, assisted the regenerative process and in turn improved the value of the land through an increase in carrying capacity.

The Packhorse team is negotiating a pipeline of agricultural properties between Coonamble in NSW and Taroom in Qld before the next round of funding in September.