SOUTH AFRICA – Westfalia Fruit, a South Africa-based multinational supplier of fresh fruit and related processed products has secured US$300m from three international banks to expand sustainable avocado production at its existing facilities and explore opportunities in new markets.
The multinational Westfalia Fruit Group notes on its website that it is a trusted supplier of fresh and processed products to international markets, offering a wide range of quality fruit through its vertically integrated supply chain.
The investment from IFC, HSBC, and Standard Bank will support the company’s strategy of developing new orchards and nurseries in Colombia, India, Mexico, Mozambique, Peru, and South Africa.
Westfalia also plans to upgrade its packing, ripening, and storage facilities in Africa, South America, and Europe to improve access to markets.
“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 largest avocado-growing footprints and will explore investments in new markets, such as China, India, Italy, Kenya, Spain, Tanzania, and the United States, to better integrate the avocado sectors in developing countries into the global value chain to meet the growing demand for avocados.
“Standard Bank is Westfalia’s leading banking partner for its South African operations, and we are pleased to grow our support for Westfalia’s international business and become a key funding partner both locally and globally,” said Clive Potter, Head of Client Coverage South Africa at Standard Bank.
“This deal will adequately support Westfalia’s strategic ambitions by allowing the business to retain its leading global avocado producer status and grow in markets where there is an opportunity for growth.”
To have an uninterrupted supply of the products, the agribusiness giant said it will use drought and disease-resilient varieties to address the impact of climate change.
The company will also continue to introduce climate-smart growing techniques that conserve energy and water and reduce pesticide use as part of its strategy to become carbon neutral by 2030.
On 21 March, Westfalia Fruit India received the first avocado container of the season from Tanzania, and parallel, the first air shipments to India from Westfalia Fruit Peru have been received, marking the beginning of another strong and exciting season, for 2023.