Canadian company buys up Australian water

By Geoff Adams

Global food and agri-business company Olam International has announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Olam Orchards Australia, has entered into an agreement to sell 89 085 Ml of its permanent water rights in Australia to a company owned by the Public Sector Pension Investment Board for $490 million.

PSP Investments is one of Canada’s largest pension investment managers.

PSP Investments has also agreed to buy about 12 000 ha of almond orchards and related assets in north-west Victoria, which were previously leased to the Australian Olam company.

Both the almond orchards and the associated water rights will continue to be operated by the Olam company.

Olam’s managing director and chief executive officer of edible nuts, Ashok Krishen, said consistent with their asset-light approach to tree crop production, this arrangement would enable Olam Orchards Australia to focus on operations and continue to deliver best-in-class products and services to customers.

“I am confident this partnership with PSP Investments will help lead the industry in sustainable farming and agricultural practices, and protect critical natural resources, such as water, in Australia,” Mr Krishnen said.