South African avocado supplier Westfalia Fruit has been awarded a $300m loan facility from three banks to expand production and explore new markets.
The fruit business is also planning to use the funds – provided by HSBC, the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Standard Bank – to expand its current avocado production. It plans to develop its avocado orchards and nurseries in Colombia, India, Chile, Mozambique and Peru, and in its domestic market.
It also wants to spend money on packaging as well as improving ripening and storage facilities.
In a joint statement from all parties, Westfalia CEO Alk Brand said: “This 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.”
The company declined to provide further details on its strategy and plans for new markets when contacted by Just Food.
But sustainability initiatives are likely to be prominent. “As part of its strategy to become carbon neutral by 2030, Westfalia will continue to introduce climate-smart growing techniques that conserve energy and water and reduce pesticide use. Westfalia will also use drought and disease-resilient varieties to address the impact of climate change.”
HSBC led the financing of the five-year revolving credit facility with contributions from Standard Bank and IFC. Each lender provided $100m.
Westfalia’s portfolio includes fresh and frozen avocado, puree, guacamole and avocado oil. It also supplies other fruits such as mangoes, grapes and plums, and vegetables including sprouts.
Westfalia Fruit’s portfolio includes fresh and frozen avocado, puree and guacamole, avocado oil. It also supplies other fruits such as mangoes, grapes and plums, and vegetables including sprouts.