CASE STUDIES

NATURE POSITIVE APPROACH DELIVERING STACKED RETURNS AT WILMOT CATTLE CO.

LAND TRANSITION | NATURAL CAPITAL | GREEN FINANCE | PRODUCT PREMIUMS

THE CLIENT

Wilmot Cattle Co. is a global leader in regenerative farming at scale. Operating across four properties in New South Wales’ New England region, the company integrates regenerative soil and grazing practices to build and protect natural capital – enhancing ecological health while achieving profitable production outcomes.

Impact Ag Partners (IAP) helped to establish Wilmot Cattle Co. and its flagship Ebor property for family office investors in 2008 – and have since gone on to originate, acquire, and advise on three additional properties for the Wilmot portfolio, at Walcha, Gunnedah, and Inverell in New South Wales.

Over that period, we’ve been on the ground assisting the Wilmot team’s regenerative transition, integrating practices such as rotational grazing and deep-rooted perennial pastures to improve soil and vegetation quality, reverse land degradation and enhance net carbon sequestration into soils.

These management practices have supported significant emission drawdown while futureproofing the farm ecosystems. But for Wilmot Cattle Co., the next step was to turn natural capital into alternative income streams that build business resilience, and enable further investment in nature positive agriculture.

THE BRIEF

Wilmot Cattle Co.’s brief to IAP was to assess opportunities to monetise its natural capital, and explore premiumisation options in regulated and private markets.

THE PROJECT

A key feature of our regenerative transition across Wilmot Cattle Co. properties is our shared commitment to data as the key to streamlining monetisation of natural capital. Using the MaiaGrazing platform (co-founded by IAP and Wilmot Cattle Co.) the team has planned, measured, recorded, and tracked grazing management to inform regenerative decisions, and compile an extensive soil carbon dataset spanning over a decade.

Regenerative management has led to improved outcomes across soil carbon, tree carbon, and biodiversity – all of which are monetisable natural capital assets. To prioritise investment, we conducted a comprehensive review of Wilmot’s requirements and options, working with the management team to tailor a customised natural capital strategy that accounted for Wilmot’s unique assets, the investment life cycle, and the necessary change management to accelerate impact.

The result is a suite of opportunities for Wilmot Cattle Co. to monetise its natural capital, leveraging the Impact Ag Green Box.

THE IMPACT

NATURE + PROFIT | CLIMATE POSITIVE LEADERSHIP | ALTERNATIVE INCOME STREAMS | ASSET EXPANSION

Wilmot Cattle Co. has long championed regenerative agriculture to restore the landscape under its stewardship. With the expertise of IAP, Wilmot has scaled profitable regenerative farming practices across its four properties. Their commercial success provides inspirational leadership to other producers considering the regenerative transition for a more resilient, profitable business that is also nature positive.

Our collaboration has enhanced natural capital, providing opportunities for return stacking across agricultural production, ecosystem markets, and product premiums – providing investors the confidence to expand their asset.

IAP has:

1. Fostered stable carbon sequestration:
We’ve proven that – with the right soil and grazing management – retention of soil carbon is achievable in a changing climate. Using regenerative principles, we have helped Wilmot Cattle Co. sequester carbon in higher rainfall years, and maintain carbon in lower rainfall years.

2. Pioneered sale of Australian carbon credits in voluntary international market:
In a landmark deal, Wilmot, in partnership with IAP, sold $500,000 worth of soil carbon credits to Microsoft. This transaction, brokered through the Regen Network, marked the world’s first major soil carbon credit sale. These CarbonPlus Grassland Credits represent a diversified revenue stream for Wilmot and demonstrate the potential of regenerative practices to contribute to climate change mitigation.

3. Potential to generate several hundred thousand credits through Australia’s regulated carbon market:
After undertaking the feasibility for a soil carbon project through the Australian Government’s Emissions Reduction Fund, we worked with a respected industry project developer to design, register, and develop the management plan to build carbon and generate credits. These practices primarily included intensification of grazing through paddock subdivision, and inter-seeding multispecies pastures with legumes. We continue to work with Wilmot to meet monitoring and reporting requirements for the scheme.

4. Climate positive operation:
A review of farm data conducted by independent third parties concluded that Wilmot Cattle Co. had sequestered more carbon than it emits during the first carbon crediting period. This milestone demonstrates to the wider livestock sector that carbon positive production is achievable at scale.

5. Enhancing and protecting biodiversity:
By leveraging regenerative practices, the partnership has increased landscape ecological function with a focus on building biodiversity. We are currently negotiating a biodiversity offset project for the emerging biodiversity credit market, potentially securing an additional value stream for Wilmot investors.

6. Renewable energy:
Negotiated the inclusion of a renewable energy project (windfarm) into one farm enterprise, providing an additional revenue stream to Wilmot Cattle Co. while enhancing nature positive impacts of clean energy production.

7. Green finance:
We brokered a first-of-its-kind green finance deal with National Australia Bank to facilitate expansion of Wilmot’s regenerative grazing practices at Paradise Creek, Inverell.

8. Branded beef for product premium:
Leveraging Wilmot’s extensive dataset, we have established a premium beef brand to secure premium returns based on third-party verification of ecological outcomes.

 

Over our decade-long collaboration, IAP has empowered the team at Wilmot Cattle Co. to be rewarded for progressive management – diversifying their revenue streams and providing long-term investment returns by realising value from enhanced natural capital.

FUTURE THINKING