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2020 Farmland Sustainability Report
The sustainability commitment of a leader in farmland managementWelcome to our 9th annual Farmland Report, which chronicles our progress in achieving a range of sustainability goals across our farmland portfolio, which comprises 2.2 million acres in seven countries.
For the first time, this report was written by Westchester’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) committee, which we formed in 2019 with members from across our organization. The committee has already risen to its expansive responsibility: to lead ESG innovation and implementation across our farmland portfolio.
Agriculture employs 2 billion people worldwide and provides the means to feed a growing global population that will demand as much as 50% more food by 2050, as compared with 2010.1 Westchester is committed to helping the world meet these challenges through strong leadership, innovation and accountability. We continue to evolve our approach to ESG and to provide tools for setting and achieving goals.
This report also provides country-level maps with granular data including, for the first time, carbon footprint. These maps will make it easier to visualize our 2019 achievements and challenges. Our interactive mapping tool offers some of this data through a bird’s-eye view of the locations and crop types for each of our properties.
Throughout these pages, you will find numerous examples of our sustainability initiatives, including these highlights:
- In the U.S., we played a role in creating a universal standard for agriculture sustainability called Leading Harvest, and our teams are innovating to gain efficiencies while improving sustainability.
- In Europe, we are helping our tenants optimize their business processes and lower their cost of production, while pursuing certifications and striving to enhance soil health.
- In South America, we continue to envision and implement sustainability strategies across diverse farmland holdings and have taken steps to prevent deforestation and reduce the risk of fires such as those experienced in Brazil in 2019.
- In Australia, which endured several extreme weather events during 2019, we helped our tenants innovate to face these challenges and to enhance sustainability moving forward.
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The information presented in these materials is believed to be materially correct as at the date hereof, but no representation or warranty (express or implied) is made as to the accuracy or completeness of any of this information. Data was taken from sources deemed reliable, but cannot guarantee its accuracy. The statements contained herein reflect opinions as of the date written and are subject to change without further notice. Nothing set out in these materials is or shall be relied upon as a promise or representation as to the past or future.
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Past performance is not a guide to future performance. Investment involves risk, including loss of principal. The value of investments and the income from them can fall as well as rise and is not guaranteed. Changes in the rates of exchange between currencies may cause the value of investments to fluctuate.
Nothing set out in these materials is or shall be relied upon as a promise or representation as to the past or future.
Farmland investments are less developed, more illiquid and less transparent compared to traditional asset classes. Investments will be subject to risks generally associated with the ownership of real estate-related assets and foreign investing, including changes in economic conditions, currency values, environmental risks, the cost of and ability to obtain insurance and risks related to leasing of properties.
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Westchester Group Investment Management is an affiliate of Nuveen LLC.
OPINION PIECE: PLEASE SEE IMPORTANT DISCLOSURES IN THE ENDNOTES