Queensland's peak body for broadacre primary producers is joining forces with Australia's largest agribusiness bank to drive improved land management practices that can assist both the agricultural and financial industries.
Against the backdrop of Beef Australia 2018 this week, AgForce and NAB have signed an historic Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate and share resources to deliver positive economic and environmental outcomes for agriculture while also reducing financial risk.
AgForce CEO Michael Guerin said 'natural capital' assets were elements such as our land, soil, water and air that directly or indirectly provide value and are the building blocks of food and fibre production.
"AgForce is looking to put a dollar value on our natural capital and how we manage these resources through on-the-ground actions," he said.
"We're looking to demonstrate how primary producers are looking after the environment sustainably for current and future generations, while also allowing financial risk to be better priced.
"It's about reclaiming our green credentials and showcasing that farmers are the true environmentalists, and that natural capital is worth preserving.
"Through this partnership, AgForce and NAB will look in detail at how land management practices backed by data can assist both the agricultural and financial industries.
"The partnership is something unique for Queensland and given time will expand with other collaborators to all states and territories.
"AgForce is determined to lead the way in building collaborative opportunities that provide direct environmental and economic benefits to producers."
The Natural Capital work being driven by AgForce and NAB will link in directly with the Australian Beef Sustainability Framework.
NAB Executive General Manager Specialised Banking, Julie Rynski, said NAB was delighted to be collaborating with AgForce to better understand the value of our natural capital and drive rural land management practices that deliver good economic and environmental outcomes.
"NAB recognises increasing pressure on the natural capital that underpins our economic system could impact future asset and business value," Ms Rynski said.
"Natural value is part of our journey towards understanding natural capital risks, opportunities and integrating natural capital considerations into our day-to-day decision making and risk assessment processes.
"We need to manage our natural capital with the same diligence that we manage our financial capital. This means accounting for the availability of clean water, investing in biodiversity and putting a value on soil conservation."
Mr Guerin and Ms Rynski said the two organisations would now work together on key economic and practical metrics to help identify sustainably managed land and improve the financial sector's understanding of agricultural risk linked to natural capital.