As the global population continues to rise and as arable land continues to diminish across the planet, food systems are under increasing pressure. Coolamon Farms is playing its part in feeding the world through a large-scale, environmentally sustainable horticulture development in the Riverland of South Australia. The diversified project comprises 3,000ha of premium horticulture – including almonds, citrus, grapes and avocadoes – sustained by a secure water supply and fuelled by renewable energy.
With its fertile soils and effective biosecurity measures, South Australia’s Riverland is widely renowned for its high quality produce. Coolamon Farms’ is perfectly positioned to build on the region’s outstanding reputation for fresh, healthy produce and will establish a significant almond orchard, in addition to citrus fruit, table grapes and avocados for domestic and international consumption.
As one of the most unique projects of its type in Australia, at completion Coolamon Farms will produce approximately 30,000 tonnes of premium fruit and nuts annually, with a wholesale market value estimated at $75 million AUD. Coolamon’s regenerative approach is designed to maximise productivity whilst generating a range of environmental and social outcomes for the assets and region as a whole.
With all site use approvals in place, access to a consistent supply of water from the adjacent Murray River is an important strategic and economic consideration for successful delivery of the Coolamon Farms project.
A holistic approach has been undertaken to develop a comprehensive water security strategy, encompassing a range of sourcing, partnering and infrastructure related solutions specifically designed to meet the projected water supply requirements.
The Coolamon Farms design has incorporated the optimum on-farm water storage infrastructure and advanced irrigation technologies to minimise wastage and maximise water usage efficiencies.
Coolamon Farms will establish its own renewable energy generation capacity (including battery storage) to support the irrigation and water pumping infrastructure on-site.
Importantly, this will not only provide an effective low-cost energy solution for the project to maximise profitability, but it will also deliver long-term energy security in an environmentally sustainable way.
The project, which will proudly maintain a low carbon footprint, is also assessing the feasibility of a utility scale renewable energy generation and storage facility to be co-located on the land, which would further highlight the project as a centre of excellence for sustainable agricultural production.
Vendor feasibility and development works including lodgement of approval documentation,
water access and use license, and provision of civil engineering plans.
Plans approved for pumping engineering, civil engineering
and horticulture development plan.
Public access approvals and capital raise commencement.
Finalise capital raising.
Orchards reach maturity; production at capacity.
Backed by an experienced development team with more than 25 years of orchard development and operations experience, the team behind Coolamon Farms has a long history of agricultural asset ownership and management, including the delivery of large-scale horticulture projects in the Riverland region.
Critically, the existing landowner John Gallard is committed to maintaining an equity interest in the project and, alongside a leading technical development and commercial team, will provide leadership and on-farm development capabilities and orchard management IP until completion of the project.
Coolamon Farms is a substantial and unique premium food production project. However, with support from the local regional council through to State and Federal Governments, it has the potential to become an iconic project in the region. To further this vision, Coolamon Farms will incorporate a centre of excellence to accommodate strategic partnerships in education, research, technology, social and not-for-profit sectors.
A third-generation grower and agriculture expert, John is also the founder of Gallard Services – a mechanical pruning and mulching business designed around the needs of orchard managers. The company has grown to over 70 employees and continues to specialise in orchard development, maintenance and operations for businesses throughout South Australia’s Riverland.
Ben has over 15 years of experience across corporate and legal advisory, funds management, commercial transactions and deal structuring in a variety of sectors, including renewable energy, venture capital and commercial real estate. He has led large property acquisition and renewable infrastructure development projects, and established Impact Investment Group’s Solar Income Fund.
Andy is a senior business and investment professional from a fifth-generation agriculture family, with over 20 years’ experience in agricultural asset management, agribusiness, international trade and private investment across Australia, Asia, Europe, US and Canada. Andy was also previously an executive with GH Michell and Sons – one of the largest privately-owned agribusiness groups in Australia.
Malcolm is a former CEO of Elders Ltd, one of Australia’s largest diversified agribusiness groups. During his tenure at Elders, he initiated a significant business restructure and change in strategic direction to focus the company’s operations on its core agribusinesses. Malcolm will provide strategic advisory, governance and leadership to the Coolamon Farms development.
Tom has extensive experience in corporate finance and engineering, with significant expertise in large-scale project development and financing. His vast experience also comprises various senior positions, including Head of SunEdison Australia’s Commercial and Industrial division, and Executive Manager of Development at Pacific Hydro.
Mark has more than 25 years’ experience in the development and financing of renewable energy and clean technologies. He founded Impax Capital and Climate Change Capital, and has been an advisor, investor or principal in over 90 cleantech transactions. He currently also serves on the board of Carnegie Clean Energy, Future Super Investments and GreenSync Holdings.