Pensioenfonds ING joined the ASR Dutch Farmland Fund on 1 January 2023. Pensioenfonds ING, alongside existing investors a.s.r, BPL Pensioen and DELA, will invest in this unlisted real estate fund of a.s.r. real estate for a total amount of € 100 million. The ASR Dutch Farmland Fund manages 36,000 hectares of Dutch farmland worth € 1.8 billion.
The ASR Dutch Farmland Fund’s agricultural portfolio has been built up over more than a century. The fund invests in agricultural land in the Netherlands and has a strong focus on long-term value creation for agricultural businesses, investors and society. It offers institutional investors the opportunity for a stable return as well as a unique diversification effect.
Dick van den Oever, fund director ASR Dutch Farmland Fund: ‘The fund’s ambition is to grow further and pass on farmland in an even better condition to future generations. Both in terms of sustainability and land mobility, we want to play a progressive role together with agricultural businesses, knowledge institutions and chain parties. Opening up the portfolio to institutional investors creates more room for growth and further development of our climate-smart farming strategy. We are pleased that with Pension Fund ING, we have once again managed to secure a like-minded, long-term partner for the fund.’
Wim van Iersel, Executive Director at Pensioenfonds ING: ‘By investing in the ASR Dutch Farmland Fund, Pensioenfonds ING is contributing to the necessary transition to a sustainable and future-proof Dutch agricultural sector. This fits in well with the theme of our Corporate Socially Responsible Investment (CSRI) policy: A future tomorrow, too. In addition to this contribution, we believe this long-term investment offers the opportunity for a stable financial return for our participants. We therefore think this investment perfectly shows that realising financial returns can go hand in hand with our CSRI objectives.’
Rewarding sustainable farmers
The pressure on the agricultural sector to become more sustainable has been mounting in recent years, and this requires innovative solutions. Together with agricultural businesses, a.s.r. has long been taking steps to improve soil health and promote biodiversity. At the end of 2021, a.s.r. announced that it will reward farmers who are committed to sustainable business practices. a.s.r. believes that not only farmers are responsible for the transition to a sustainable agricultural sector, but that all parties in the chain must make this switch together. a.s.r. real estate emphasizes that investing, in addition to the chance of return, also entails risks.