IFC, HSBC and Standard Bank Invest $300M in Westfalia to Boost Sustainable Avocado Production
IFC, HSBC Bank, and Standard Bank announced an investment in Westfalia Fruit International Limited to help the company expand sustainable avocado production at its existing facilities and explore opportunities in new markets to support the growth of the avocado industry in Africa, Asia, South America, and Europe.
IFC, HSBC, and Standard Bank have each invested $100 million in South Africa’s Westfalia, totaling $300 million in support of the company’s strategy to develop new orchards and nurseries in Colombia, India, Mexico, Mozambique, Peru, and South Africa. Westfalia also intends to improve market access by upgrading its packing, ripening, and storage facilities in Africa, South America, and Europe.
Westfalia will continue introducing climate-smart growing techniques that conserve energy and water while reducing pesticide use to become carbon neutral by 2030. To combat the effects of climate change, Westfalia will also use drought and disease-resistant varieties.
“The investment will enable Westfalia to continue to grow its business, strengthen value chains to sustainably produce and source quality avocados and improve access to export markets to meet the growing demand for the fruit,” said Alk Brand, Group Chief Executive Officer, Westfalia Fruit Group. “The partnership with IFC, HSBC and Standard Bank will contribute to our efforts to enhance sustainable farming practices, create jobs in the communities where we operate and support economic growth.”
Westfalia has one of the world’s giant avocado-growing footprints and plans to invest in new markets such as China, India, Italy, Kenya, Spain, Tanzania, and the United States better to integrate developing-country avocado sectors into the global value chain and meet rising avocado demand.
“Developing sustainable avocado markets can help boost agriculture productivity to reduce poverty, especially in rural areas where people mainly work in farming,” said Adamou Labara, IFC Country Manager for South Africa. “IFC’s investment in Westfalia will help increase avocado production to meet growing demand, strengthen global value chains and boost economic growth in developing countries.”
Avocado trade is worth $7 billion worldwide. Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America dominate the avocado market, supplying North America and Europe’s growing demand.
The investment will help Westfalia develop and promote the avocado industry in existing and new growth markets, create jobs, and grow the agriculture sector and sustainably meet global avocado demand.
The vertically integrated Westfalia Fruit Group supplies fresh and processed fruit and related products to international markets. Over 70 years of environmental, social, governance, and sustainability principles.
These practices, based on Dr. Hans Merensky’s legacy, underpin the Group’s “To Do Good” approach today. Westfalia Fruit Group operates in 15 countries on 5 continents and promotes sustainable agriculture and corporate citizenship.