UNITED FARMERS FUND, SOUTH AFRICA
United Farmers Fund (UFF) is a leading specialist in agriinvestment in Africa whose operations centre on sustainable agricultural investments. It is an agricultural fund advisor within the Old Mutual Investment Group. Through a partnership with Futuregrowth Asset Management, it combines commercial agri-investment to investors. By evaluating the commercial attractiveness of an investment — including social and environmental audits — UFF invests into farmland and infrastructure that is leased to approved operators to develop, manage and run as world-class, sustainable entities.
UFF has a large footprint, with operations in Morocco, Nigeria, East Africa, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland, and currently produce permanent crops, livestock, fresh produce, plantations, rice, row crops, edible oils and more. Its focus is to invest locally and internationally to create a mutual benefit for the investor, their workforce and the countries in which they operate. Within the South African market, UFF has 6 farms that specialize in the production of citrus, table grapes, bananas, and deciduous and stone fruit.
After the establishment of the fund, UFF and Futuregrowth Asset Management approached AMSCO with the need for more experienced agri-business management to supplement the financial asset management skills that already existed within the firm, and to be able to better advise clients and potential investors on the risk-return profile of the agri-investments. Additionally, there was a need to establish new agri-investments and this required the expert advice of specialists within the agri-business to network and develop relationships with key stakeholders.
AMSCO, through its vast expert networks and particular specialty within the agriculture sector in Africa, was able to source managers with the relevant experience and expertise.
One of the managers, Theodore Bouland, has over 30 years of international experience in trading in agriculture, which has been crucial to the development of UFF’s agri-investments as well as the management of farms under its various portfolios.
His deep understanding of the agricultural business, and his passion for building a legacy with the agriculture space in Africa, enables him to lead UFF in expanding its focus on a ‘Farmer First’ philosophy that ensures farmers benefit before operators and marketers.
- Worker Empowerment: 6% of revenue invested in the implementation of comprehensive education, healthcare through Care Cross™ and housing programmes for farm workers.
- Increase in the number of farms under operation.
- Raised up to US $400 million to invest in expansion of operations in Africa.
- Agribusiness Fund of the Year Award for UFF managed Futuregrowth Agri-Fund at the Africa Investor Agribusiness Investment Awards in 2011.
- Expansion of operations in South Africa, Nigeria, Morocco, Kenya, Namibia and Swaziland.
- Assessment and monitoring of all farms in compliance with the International Finance Corporation and UN Principles for Responsible Investment standards on environmental, social and governance standards which encompass standards set by: