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22 May 2013 The anatomy of a Mozambique land deal
A multi-million dollar “ethical” plantation development in northwestern Mozambique - the initiative of a clutch of Scandinavian faith-based organizations - has faced alleged acts of sabotage by the very people it was designed to assist, illustrating the divisions between foreign benefactors and local communities.
IRIN
22 Apr 2013 Encouraging pension funds to divest from land grabbing activities
Friends of the Earth is running an ethical pension campaign to encourage investors to ask their providers if they invest in land grabbing activities. Emma Websdale spoke with campaigner Kirtana Chandrasekaran to discuss why it is such an important issue.
Blue & Green Tomorrow
22 Apr 2013 Swedish buffer fund AP2 under scrutiny from NGO over Brazilian farmland investments
Sweden’s SEK227.3bn (€26.7bn) state buffer fund Andra AP-fonden (AP2) has been accused of a lack of transparency and snapping up cheap agricultural land in Brazil by campaign group Swedwatch. AP2 denies the allegations.
Responsible Investor
16 Apr 2013 Lack of transparency when Swedish Pension Fund AP2 invests in farmland in Brazil
A new Swedwatch report shows a lack of transparency and inadequate auditing of ethics and environmental impacts in AP2’s investment in farmland in Brazil. For business reasons, the investment is surrounded by a high level of secrecy, which makes scrutiny from the outside impossible.
Swedwatch
03 Apr 2013 CRE groups back proposal to grant FIRPTA exemptions to foreign pension investors
The Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act was first passed in 1980 by Congress to limit foreign control over US farmland. Obama now wants things changed.
Costar Group
28 Mar 2013 BRICS grab African land and sovereignty
BRICS states, except Russia, are enhancing and facilitating land grabs abroad in a way that is inconsistent with their proclamations of sustainable development, cooperation solidarity, and respect of national sovereignty.
Pambazuka
28 Mar 2013 Saudi extends foreign land spree with CFG takeover
A consortium of Saudi groups - comprising dairy giant Almarai, grain importer Al Rajhi and Salic, the agriculture arm of the country's Public Investment Fund sovereign wealth fund – buys Continental Farmers Group, which has large farming operations in Poland and the Ukraine.
Agrimoney
13 Mar 2013 Govt can't produce foreign farmland figure
In New Zealand, an opposition party is demanding hard figures on how much farmland is owned by foreigners, but the government says it can't produce the figures.
NZN
12 Mar 2013 Norwegian fund pulls out of 'unsustainable' palm oil companies
Norway’s US$710bn sovereign investment fund has pulled its investment from 23 Southeast Asian palm oil companies, claiming that they source palm oil unsustainably.
Food Navigator
11 Mar 2013 EAPF pumps £350m into ESG strategies
The UK's Environmental Agency Pension Fund is still seeking a manager for a £245m ‘real asset' mandate, set to include £65m in forestry and farmland.
Professional Pensions
11 Mar 2013 Pension fund buys $100m of land in hunt for safety
The 16,000-hectare farm which Första AP-fonden bought in Australia in December was one of a clutch of purchases of farmland, worth some $100m, by the pension fund.
Agrimoney
07 Mar 2013 Canadians look south to invest in agriculture
Mark Wiseman, chief executive of the $A170 billion fund, will visit Australia this month amid the group’s expanding portfolio of interests across the Tasman.
NBR
07 Mar 2013 Land grabs & the Canadian connection
Land grabs in Canada have not been well-documented. Provinces do not keep inventory on large-scale land acquisitions. This blind eye approach has some people, particularly farmers, worried.
Watershed Sentinel
07 Mar 2013 Pension funds join forces to invest in farmland
Major asset managers, cowed by the cost, the risk and the controversy involved in investing in farmland, are joining forces to increase investment in the historically under-capitalised sector.
Reuters
01 Mar 2013 Clash of concerns over foreign ownership of Australian agriculture
There's been considerable disquiet over the presence of foreign buyers in the farmland market place, but the stats on the extent of foreign ownership and the emerging trends are far from clear.
ABC
18 Feb 2013 TIAA-CREF could fund more PrimeAg sales
As PrimeAg Australia's $125 million sale of rural properties to US fund manager TIAA-CREF goes through, the question now being raised by investors is what will happen to the residual portfolio.
The Land
15 Feb 2013 US fund TIAA-CREF buys Australian farms from PrimeAg for up to $126m
PrimeAg Australia has agreed to sell 60 per cent of its land and water portfolio to US financial services organisation TIAA-CREF for up to $126 million.
The Australian
14 Feb 2013 Be wary of exotic investments in your self invested personal pension
Describing itself as a consultant and “master distributor” of products designed “to bring working capital to a variety of projects” – including upgrading farmland overseas and forestry –Intelligent Partnership published a 76 page report on the alternatives sector this week.
Mindful Money
06 Feb 2013 Charts: The top 5 land-grabbing countries
Of the countries that lost the highest percentages of their cultivated land to land grabs, nine out of 10 have malnourishment rates of 5 percent or more.
Mother Jones
01 Feb 2013 Hungry in the food bowl
In rural Australia, the hyperbole about agriculture as a boom industry for global investors is not translating into practical benefits at the farm gate
The Australian
27 Jan 2013 Investors wary of going back to the land
Agriculture has scarred some big hitters in the investment world. Many are now wary of a sector that is at the mercy of fickle weather, political risk and quixotic governments.
Offshore Corporate
21 Jan 2013 Investors plant funds in farmland
As institutions and private investors show increased interest in farmland, prices are rising.
Financial News
21 Jan 2013 New Zealand pension fund shops for offshore farm investments
New Zealand's state pension fund is looking at buying overseas farmland amid growing demand for food in emerging markets, and it is also interested in assets offered by struggling European banks as well as catastrophe insurance.
Reuters
26 Dec 2012 Farmland in demand
Investors snap up California acreage, pushing prices to record highs, as global appetites for almonds and pistachios increase.
LA Times
24 Dec 2012 Institutions seek long-term value in responsible farmland investing
Retirement fund and financial services firm TIAA-CREF is helping to meet the growing institutional demand for sustainably managed farmland, which can deliver stable returns above inflation.
Institutional Investor
20 Dec 2012 Manulife AM steps up sales effort in Japan
The fund house aims to capitalise on Japanese pension plans' growing interest in new investment types, including Asian fixed income and certain alternatives like farmland
Asian Investor
19 Dec 2012 Canadian pension fund likes NZ forest growing conditions, access to Asian markets
Canada's Public Sector Pension Investment Board is looking to capitalise on favourable growing conditions and access to Asian markets having taken a 30 percent stake in the central North Island's Kaingaroa forestry estate.
Business Desk
12 Dec 2012 Swedish fund stokes Australia farm-buying spree
A Swedish pension fund has become the latest of a series of purchasers of Australian farmland, a buying spree which has fuelled public concerns, and raised discussion over curbs on foreign ownership.
Agrimoney
11 Dec 2012 African Agricultural Growth Corridors: Who benefits, who loses?
Governments, IFIs and corporations are collaborating in major new projects to reorder land and water use and create industrial infrastructure over millions of ha in Africa to ensure sustained supplies of commodities and profits for markets.
EcoNexus
10 Dec 2012 US farm fund buys Elliott's old station
TIAA-CREF's Westchester group buys 17,200 ha Cobran Station, once Australia's largest rice farm, while Sweden's Forsta AP-fonden buys the 16,000 ha Merri Meric farm near Henty.
The Australian