Originally published on IFC website.
Washington D.C., October 28, 2013—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the private sector window of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program will each invest $3 million to support growth and expansion of africaJUICE, sub-Saharan Africa’s first Fairtrade certified company that both grows and processes tropical fruit.
The company is embarking on a $15 million investment program to triple fruit-processing capacity, and to build a self-sustaining network of farmers who can supply high-value fruit crops. It expects this expansion will double its current labor force to about 3,000 employees, over half of whom are expected to be women, and increase the number of smallholder farmers who supply the company from 70 to about 1,000. IFC Advisory Services will support inclusion of small farmers into the company’s supplier base.
The expansion plan will be also supported by the founders of the business as well as the current financiers and investors, including the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa and the Agri-Vie Fund, as well as a US$4 million investment from the Dutch Development Bank (FMO).
“Support from IFC and GAFSP will help africaJUICE grow and achieve the potential of the business in Ethiopia. Through the expansion of our operations, we will enhance the opportunity for local farmers to access the juice value chain, thereby catalyzing local community socio-economic development” said David O’Halloran, Director of africaJUICE.
German Vegarra, IFC Global Head of Agribusiness said, “IFC sees great potential for inclusive economic growth through investment in private companies, like food processors, that can be the link between small farmers and global consumers. These companies can be stable buyers of crops for small farmers and be conduits for technical training, access to finance and inputs.”
Donor partners to the GAFSP private sector window are Canada, the Netherlands, and the U.S. This funding makes it possible for IFC to invest in riskier projects with strong potential to promote food security and reduce poverty.
Helping small farmers gain access to finance, agricultural inputs like seeds and improved infrastructure is part of IFC’s strategy for improving food security and rural incomes. IFC made a record $4.5 billion worth of agriculture-related investments in fiscal year 2013.
GAFSP is a global effort to aid vulnerable populations afflicted by hunger and poverty. It takes up where emergency and recovery assistance leaves off, targeting transformative and lasting change in agriculture and food security within poor countries. Following commitments by G-8 leaders at the L’Aquila Summit in July 2009 and reaffirmed by the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh in September 2009, GAFSP was established in April 2010. IFC manages the GAFSP private sector window and IBRD manages the public sector part of the program. For more information, visit http://www.gafspfund.org.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
FMO is the Dutch development bank. We finance companies, projects and financial institutions from developing and emerging markets. We believe that entrepreneurship is key in creating sustainable economic growth and improving people’s quality of life. We specialize in sectors where our contribution can have the highest long-term impact - financial institutions; energy and agribusiness, food & water.www.fmo.nl
africaJUICE BV was established in 2007 with the objective of developing juice production companies in Africa that excel in social and environmental value creation as well as delivering returns to investors. With one operational company in Ethiopia, africaJUICE is the first company in sub-Saharan Africa, which grows and processes tropical fruit, to be Fairtrade certified and is already on target to become one of the biggest producers and exporters of sustainable juice pro
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