ANDREW 'Twiggy' Forrest's agribusiness venture Harvest Road has reached an agreement to acquire the iconic New Norcia Farm as part of the growth of its fully integrated cattle and beef supply chain across Western Australia.
If completed, the transaction will represent the first time the property has changed hands in 175 years.
The sale of New Norcia Farm does not include the historic New Norcia townsite, however the farm has been a vital component that helped sustain Australia's only monastic town since its establishment by Benedictine monks in 1847.
Since then, the property has been developed for livestock grazing and cropping, and today cropping has taken a lead role with an estimated 3,600 hectares of arable land in the renowned Wheatbelt region known for its high rainfall and quality soil types.
Situated next to the banks of the Moore River, in the Shire of Victoria Plains, the farm is located 132 km north of Perth, and represents a major production asset for Harvest Road. The Farm includes 7,975 hectares of premium quality farmland with reliable and versatile production.
ALSO IN BEEF:
Harvest Road is part of Tattarang, one of Australia's largest private investment groups.
Tattarang chief investment officer John Hartman said Harvest Road was committed to protecting and enhancing the iconic property's status as some of the best farming land in WA.
"We pay tribute to the outstanding stewardship of the Benedictine community that has preserved the exceptional productivity of the land for almost two centuries, and we are committed to further developing the Farm's productive capacity," Mr Hartman said.
"We know this is an iconic place with an unbroken 175-year agricultural legacy that has helped support generations of regional farming communities. We are committed to investing into New Norcia's future and we look forward to working with the surrounding shires to create new value for local communities and unlock long-term jobs."
Harvest Road chief executive officer Paul Slaughter said New Norcia Farm's close proximity to the company's Koojan Downs Feeding Facility will be strategically important once the facility opens in early 2022, with construction nearing completion.
"The acquisition of New Norcia Farm is the continuation of our significant investment into the future of WA's beef industry, and we believe it will play an important part in unlocking the transformational impact of the Koojan Downs feeding facility," Mr Slaughter said.
"Together with New Norcia Farm, our network of integrated supply chain assets represents a game changer for WA and strategic step to mitigate against changing climatic conditions, stabilising the local beef supply chain and enhancing the local economy through investment and local job creation."
The planned transaction by Harvest Road is subject to approval by the Holy See.
Harvest Road's beef division - which includes the Harvey Beef brand - is the state's largest beef processor and owns a state-of-the-art processing facility in Harvey.
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