Rest increases impact investment with Cibus fund allocation

Rest has invested in an agriculture-focused fund that focuses on sustainable farming, practices and companies.

Rest has allocated capital to Cibus Fund II, which "focuses on delivering strong returns through investment opportunities related to the food value chain." The investment comes out of the super fund's impact investment and strategic alternatives allocations.

The fund is advised by Cibus Capital.

The investment is the first impact investment within the $80 billion Rest's alternative asset class and brings Rest closer in line with its target of achieving a 1% allocation to impact investments across its total portfolio by 2026, said Rest head of responsible investment and sustainability Leilani Weier.

"As a super fund representing one in five young Australians, we believe impact investing represents a powerful opportunity for us to grow our members' super, while helping to build a more sustainable future," Weier said.

"The allocation provides exposure to initiatives at the forefront of modern agriculture and opportunities that address the growing need for environmental plantings and natural assets."

Sustainable food production and agriculture practices offer significant value potential to Rest members and are essential for the global transition to net zero, Weier said, explaining why the fud allocated to Cibus Fund II.

"We expect this investment will generate exposure to mid-market agriculture companies that own real assets with profit generating potential," she said. "This will bring diversity benefits to our alternatives portfolio, while delivering long-term value for our members."

Cibus Fund II is Rest's third impact investment, following Rest's capital commitments to the Palisade Impact Fund and specialist private equity firm ARCHIMED, all of which have been assessed under Rest's impact investment framework, the fund confirmed.

Cibus Capital is the London-based investment advisor to the Cibus funds. According to Cibus, the funds invest in food and agriculture companies and has raised over US$ 1 billion to invest in two strategies: mid-market growth/buyout investments in food production and processing businesses and late-stage agrifood technology companies.

"Cibus is delighted to partner with Rest, who has shown leadership by channeling capital towards companies who are shaping the future of food," said Cibus Capital chief investment officer Rob Appleby.

"By combining commercial logic, technology and sustainable outcomes to each investment we make, we have demonstrated that the industry can produce healthier food, use resources more efficiently and meet its nature-based target."

Within the Cibus Fund II portfolio is a "state-of-the art glasshouse tomato producer undertaking work expected to form the basis for a platform focused on the production of year-round produce in renewable energy powered facilities," plus a "major producer and supplier of vegetable seedlings to growers across Eastern Australia pursuing plans to create more efficient and sustainable water and waste management practices through automation and robotics. It is also targeting environmental planting opportunities in Australia."

Read more: RestCibus Fund IICibus CapitalLeilani Weier