04 Feb World development finance institutions invest in a United Exports OZblu blueberry expansion
PRESS RELEASE |
BERLIN, February, 2019 – Three of the World’s leading development financial institutions recently announced an investment in United Exports to support the ongoing expansion and infrastructure upgrade of their leading OZblu blueberry varieties in South Africa.
The International Finance Corporation [IFC], a member of the World Bank Group, the Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij Voor Ontwikkelingslanden N.V. [FMO], and the Danish Sustainable Development Goals Investment Fund, managed by the Investment Fund for Developing Countries [IFU], will provide a long-term financing package to support United Exports expansion programme. The instrument was specifically designed to assume the early-stage risk that commercial banks do not offer.
Says Roger Horak, Global CEO of United Exports, “the financing from these leading development financial institutions will enable the company to increase our planning and packing capacities to capture market share in the fast-growing international blueberry market.”
“The support from these institutions will help us increase the availability of our new varieties to meet the demand of markets as well as improve the technology used by our farms, thus increasing their efficiency and incomes.”
Kevin Njiraini, IFC Regional Director for Southern Africa, said South Africa needs to expand efficient companies that can create jobs and grow the economy. “The country has the potential, and IFC is committed to working with the best companies and partners to make that happen.”
“With this facility to United Exports, FMO is helping South Africa to establish itself as an emerging blueberry production hub, resulting in large-scale job-creation in communities that have a very high unemployment rate and further development of the industry,” said Hans Bogaard, FMO’s Manager Agribusiness Food and Water for Africa.
“The financing for United Exports is a good example on how we can assist private companies in growing their business, increasing local jobs, food production as well as rural development, which is in line with our aim to support the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals”, said Johnny Ohgrøn Hansen, IFU Regional Director for Southern Africa.
United Exports expects to create 200 to 250 new permanent jobs and another 4,200 seasonal jobs, many of which will be women. The proposed investment will be complemented by advisory service that will help strengthen supply, raise rural employment, and create jobs along the food supply chain, and expands new domestic and export markets.
Blueberries, a ranked superfood, are an increasingly popular berry among consumers, who have been increasing consumption of them over the past few decades as new varieties have made them more accessible to buy, store and consume on multiple occasions. In 2017, South Africa exported $50 million worth of fresh berries with blueberries being a significant portion, of which United Exports accounted for some 30 per cent.
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. IFC works with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using its capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2018, IFC delivered more than $23 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org
FMO is the Dutch development finance institution. As a leading impact investor, FMO supports sustainable private sector growth in developing countries and emerging markets by investing in ambitious projects and entrepreneurs. FMO believes that a strong private sector leads to economic and social development and has a more than 45-year proven track-record of empowering people to employ their skills and improve their quality of life. FMO focuses on three sectors that have high development impact: financial institutions, energy, and agribusiness, food & water. With a committed portfolio of EUR 9.2 billion spanning over 82 countries, FMO is one of the larger bilateral private sector developments banks globally. For more information: please visit www.fmo.nl
IFU is a Danish-state owned development finance institution. IFU offers risk capital and professional advice to companies as well as industrial and financial partners wanting to do business in developing countries and emerging markets in Africa, Asia, Latin America and parts of Europe. The purpose is to promote economic and social development in the investment countries. The Danish SDG Investment Fund is a public-private partnership, in which the Danish state and six pension funds, i.e. PKA, PensionDanmark, PFA, ATP, JØP/DIP and PenSam, collaborate to take up an important social challenge. In that way, the fund is an innovative solution to how Denmark can contribute to increasing private investments in developing countries, which is a prerequisite for meeting the Sustainable Development Goals towards 2030. For more information, visit www.ifu.dk .