In early 2015, Commonland became a founding shareholder and partner of Wide Open Agriculture (WOA), Western Australia’s leading regenerative food company. Using the 4 Returns framework, WOA focuses on transforming degraded and depopulated farming landscapes by providing inspirational solutions designed to create new jobs and business opportunities; by enhancing biodiversity and building soil health; and by restoring waterways in the region. Together with WOA and our other partners, Commonland is supporting the transformation of Western Australia’s food and agriculture system to build a healthier world.
In July 2018, WOA became the world’s first 4 Returns public company listed. With over 450 investors and AUD $5m in capital raised from West Australians, farmers, Wheatbelt residents and Commonland’s own network. WOA is demonstrating how to shift a 4 Returns framework into a viable business model in the Wheatbelt and beyond.
Since 2018, Commonland’s involvement in the landscape has expanded to support other organizations seeking to transform Western Australia’s food and agriculture system. We are proud to be partnering with the University of Western Australia’s Centre for Social Impact (UWA SCI), RegenWA, Sustain: the Australian Food Network and the Regional Regeneration Alliance.
To date, the 4 Returns framework has positively impacted approximately 10,000 people either directly or indirectly. The 4 Returns framework has triggered innovative ecologically-based farming practices enabled by sustainable water management systems. It has also led to measures to restore the soils and biodiversity and introduced a scale-up approach that helps attract equity from retail and institutional investors.
Moving forward, Commonland will continue to support our partners to provide hope and opportunity to the wider Western Australian community.