Johannesburg, South Africa, January 29, 2019
- IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, Dutch Development Finance
Institution, Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij Voor Ontwikkelingslanden
N.V. (FMO), and Danish Sustainable Development Goals Investment Fund managed
by the Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU) today announced an
investment in Mbiza Trading Ltd. (currently being renamed to United Exports)
to support a 180-hectare blueberry farm expansion and infrastructure upgrades.
United Exports/Mbiza is a family-owned trading and holding company that
produces and markets blueberries under its proprietary OZblu brand.
The financing from the three leading development finance institutions will
enable the company to increase its planting and packing capacities to capture
market share in the fast-growing international market for blueberries.
The lenders will provide a long-term financing package to support the company’s
expansion program. The instrument was specifically designed to assume early-stage
risk not offered by commercial banks.
“The support from three leading development finance institutions will
help us increase availability of these new varieties to meet the demand
of markets as well as improve technology used by our farms, thus increasing
their efficiency and incomes,” said Roger Horak, Founder and Group CEO
of United Exports/Mbiza.
“South Africa needs to expand efficient companies that can create
jobs and grow the economy. The country has the potential to further leverage
its competitive agribusiness sector and IFC is committed to working with
the best companies and partners to make that happen,” said Kevin
Njiraini, IFC Regional Director for Southern Africa.
“With this facility to United Exports/Mbiza, 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/Mbiza 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/Mbiza 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 helps strengthens
supply, raises rural employment, and creates jobs along the food supply
chain, and expands new domestic and export markets.
Blueberries 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 easier to buy and store. In 2017, South Africa exported
$50 million worth of fresh berries and blueberries being a significant
portion, of which United Exports/Mbiza accounted for 30 percent.
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, several pension funds and private investors
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,
About United Exports
Established by Roger Horak in 2003, United Exports is an international
company specialising in the licensing and sub-licensing of leading fruit
genetics. As a vertically integrated business, the core business
units are varietal breeding, fruit production, packing and export/import
services. United Exports is best known for its global footprint of OZblu,
the OZblu blueberry brand and its innovative, sustainable and precision
approach to producing these exciting varieties of blueberries. Find out
more at www.united-exports.com