Australian dairy co-operative Murray Goulburn has secured A$20m (US$18.7m) of investment from a Scandinavian pension fund to invest in the purchase of nine dairy farms.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Murray Goulburn managing director Gary Helou said the investment has added 30 million litres of milk into the co-operative’s milk supply. He said Asian demand for Australian milk and products made the nation’s agri-market “highly appealing” to offshore investors.

The reports also quoted Murray Goulburn executive general manager of shareholder relations, Robert Poole, who said he could see agriculture attracting “more and more non-farm capital”.

“We didn’t necessarily want to go into this avenue but we could see that if we were going to grow milk supply and attract capital we needed to be a party … and as a co-op we were well placed to link equity to farmers.”

A spokesperson for Murray Goulburn confirmed the report but added the company was “not in a position to provide further details at this stage.”

Next month, Murray Goulburn plans to have further talks with its suppliers over plans to change the co-op’s capital structure.

The company wants to invest A$500m in its business over the next five years to try to tap into growing demand in Asia. Murray Goulburn wants to raise the funds through issuing units in a unit trust to be listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.