JV unveils latest investment in methane measurement facility, new trading name

Media Release | 14 June 2023

Investment announced at National Fieldays, June 2023: L-R Minister Damien O’Connor, Wayne McNee (AgriZeroNZ), Ray Smith (MPI), Prof Ray Geor (Massey University), Prime Minister Chris Hipkins, Dr Sue Bidrose (AgResearch)

The Centre for Climate Action Joint Venture has today announced at Fieldays its new trading name of AgriZeroNZ. It also announced its latest investment in a methane measurement facility, taking its confirmed investments to over $8 million since launching in February this year.

The announcements were made alongside Prime Minister Chris Hipkins, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Miles Hurrell, the Chief Executive of Fonterra, an AgriZeroNZ agribusiness shareholders.

The newly named AgriZeroNZ is a world-first investment fund established between Government and major agribusiness companies to help pasture-based farmers in Aotearoa New Zealand reduce their agricultural emissions.‍

AgriZeroNZ shareholders are ANZCO Foods, Fonterra, Rabobank, Ravensdown, Silver Fern Farms and Synlait, many of the largest players in New Zealand agribusiness owning 50%, with the other 50% owned by the Crown through MPI.

Executive Director Wayne McNee says the new name reflects the company’s bold ambition to ensure all farmers in Aotearoa have equitable access to affordable, effective tools to reduce biogenic methane and nitrous oxide emissions, supporting a 30% reduction of emissions by 2030 and enabling development and adoption of solutions to drive towards ‘near zero’ by 2040.

“AgriZeroNZ is a name that embodies our role which is to take the pressure off Kiwi farmers by making sure that they have equitable access to affordable and effective tools and technology cut their methane and nitrous oxide emissions, while maintaining efficiency, production and profitability.‍

“We are doing this by bringing together many of the largest players in industry and government in New Zealand, and positioning AgriZeroNZ as a partner of choice. Our success will drive the continued success of New Zealand agriculture, while contributing to New Zealand’s broader efforts to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.”‍

AgriZeroNZ’s third investment announced today includes a $4 million investment towards a methane measurement facility to be constructed at the Massey University dairy research farm in Palmerston North that will house twelve new cattle respiration chambers and associated infrastructure.‍

The AgriZeroNZ investment is in addition to $11.7 million from Government, $2 million from AgResearch, and support from Massey University who will supply the land. The facility will scale up the research capacity in New Zealand for detailed measurement of biological agricultural emissions from cattle.

McNee says “one of the primary functions of AgriZeroNZ is unblocking constraints to the development of emissions reduction tools and technology in New Zealand and providing system-wide funding to deliver facilities and infrastructure to support the industry in its drive to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This investment in the methane measurement facility will provide a huge boost to research capacity for New Zealand agri-researchers.‍

Our small team has hit the ground running since we were established just four months ago, reflecting the ambition of our shareholders and the need to drive solutions that will get emissions reducing tools and technologies into the hands of farmers as soon as possible.‍

Wayne McNee, Executive Director, AgriZeroNZ

“That includes working closely with the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre as our partner in the Centre for Climate Action on Agricultural Emissions.‍

“New Zealand’s global customers are setting ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets, and if we can’t meet these targets, export revenue that has underpinned our living standards will be under threat. We must confront this reality, and I believe we can meet the challenge.‍

“We continue to welcome interest from potential new shareholders, technology companies and strategic partners. We expect to make further announcements on new investments in the coming months.”

‍This year marks the first Fieldays for AgriZeroNZ, following the announcement at Fieldays in November last year by then Prime Minister Ardern and industry leaders that the government and industry would invest around $170 million over the next four years through this world-first joint venture.

‍In April, AgriZeroNZ announced its investment of $1.8 million for a stake in Ruminant Biotech, a New Zealand-based start-up that is developing a slow-release, biodegradable methane-inhibiting bolus for livestock.‍

In May, AgriZeroNZ committed $2.5 million to ensure the continuation of research underway in New Zealand toward developing a methane vaccine and methane inhibitor for use in livestock.