A new initiative called Family Tree Impact Investments (FTI) aims to launch a €50m project to acquire mature forests for investors, while providing an upfront 30% return and 20-year annuity paid to farmers or landowners.
Under the project, farmers would not have to sell their land but provide the harvesting rights to FTI and NewGen Forestry, who will manage the harvesting and other operational costs.
NewGen will also provide a reforestation payment to replant the forest and, if planted with conifers, aims to replant the land with a more native tree mix.
“We plan to deploy €8m to €10m acquiring harvesting rights this year, and to build a portfolio worth over €50m within three years,” John O’Reilly, chief executive of NewGen Forestry, said.
The plans are consistent with the programme for government’s afforestation plans to tackle carbon emissions, the organisers say.
Ronan O’Kane, whose family are anchor investors in Family Tree Impact Investments, said: “We are excited to be involved as investors in FTI and NewGen from day one, and see forestry in Ireland as an attractive asset class that can combine strong and stable commercial returns with an environmental returns model that will improve biodiversity and options for landowners in rural Ireland.”