eco.business Fund and Family Bank join forces to support sustainable tea farmers in Kenya
Luxembourg and Nairobi, 12 April 2022 - The eco.business Fund has disbursed USD 10 million, approximately KES 1.1 billion to its newest partner in Kenya, Family Bank, providing finance for sustainable agricultural producers, particularly in the tea sector. This new partnership aims to support sustainability-certified companies as well as small-holder farmers implementing sustainable and climate-smart practices, ensuring the long-term competitiveness of the agribusiness sector.
Family Bank is an established lender in the Kenyan tea sector, making it an ideal partner for the fund. With its extensive branch network across the country, Family Bank is well-positioned to finance sustainable agricultural value chains where financing gaps persist. Moreover, as certified tea farms are key contributors to sequestering and storing carbon – incorporating indigenous trees for windbreaking or erosion control – the investment is directly aligned with the fund’s mission of mitigating climate change and conserving Kenya’s biodiversity.
Dr. Jens Mackensen, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the eco.business Fund, stated: “We are delighted by this new partnership with Family Bank. Together, we believe we can ramp up support to certified agribusiness in Kenya and ensure we contribute to biodiversity conservation, the sustainable use of natural resources and mitigate climate change and adapt to its impacts.”
Kenya is the third-largest tea producer in the world and is ranked the largest tea exporting country, representing approximately 22% of the global tea trade. By supporting certified agricultural producers in agricultural exporting countries such as Kenya, the investment is helping create a stable uptake from developed markets, steering other local producers toward more sustainable production methods.
“This partnership is a testament to our commitment to supporting the growth of local markets, especially critical markets such as tea farming. It is through such strategic partnerships that we can support the sustainability and business continuity of SMEs in the agribusiness, forestry, fishery and sustainable tourism sectors,” said Family Bank Chief Executive Officer Rebecca Mbithi.
The investment is expected to support the fund’s overall mission to promote business and consumption practices that contribute to biodiversity conservation and climate action (adaptation and mitigation). In addition, it is expected to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2 on Zero Hunger, SDG 8 on Decent Work and Economic Growth, and SDG 12 on Responsible Consumption and Production.
 Yong-mei XU, Fang-bin QIAO, Ji-kun HUANG, Black tea markets worldwide: Are they integrated?, Journal of Integrative Agriculture, Volume 21, Issue 2, 2022, Pages 552-565, ISSN 2095-3119, https://doi.org/10.1016/S2095-3119(21)63850-9.
About the eco.business Fund
The eco.business Fund aims to promote business and consumption practices that contribute to biodiversity conservation, to the sustainable use of natural resources, and to mitigate climate change and adapt to its impacts in Latin America and the Caribbean, and sub-Saharan Africa. By providing financing for business practices that conserve nature and foster biodiversity, the fund seeks investments with both environmental and financial returns. The eco.business Fund provides financing through three avenues: local financial institutions that are committed to the fund’s mission and which have the capacity to reach its target group; directly to its target group (i.e. companies and producers); and in the case of sub-Saharan Africa, to real sector intermediaries. The fund supports sustainable operations in the sectors of agriculture, fishery (including aquaculture), forestry and sustainable tourism. Target beneficiaries are those that hold an eligible sustainability certification or those taking out a loan to make eligible sustainable investments in their operations.
Operating together with each of the two sub-funds, are two development facilities that provide high-impact technical assistance to investment partners and final borrowers. The fund’s impact management system, through its advisor Finance in Motion, underwent an independent verification by impact auditor BlueMark affirming strong Operating Principles for Impact Management alignment in 2021.
An impact investment fund advised by Finance in Motion, the eco.business Fund was initiated by Germany’s KfW Development Bank and Conservation International with financial support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
The sub-fund for Latin America and the Caribbean has received funding from the European Commission as well as from numerous other prestigious development finance institutions and institutional investors.
The sub-fund for sub-Saharan Africa was launched in 2020 with initial funding from BMZ.
For more information, please visit www.ecobusiness.fund and follow us on Twitter @ecobusinessfund
About Family Bank
Family Bank is a financial institution that prides itself in growing a strong retail customer base with a key focus in SME banking anchored on the positive transformation of people’s lives in Africa. Family Bank is the fifth-largest bank in Kenya, as of Dec 2020, in terms of branch network with 93 branches across 32 counties. The Bank has over 600,000 customers, 4,800 bank agents, over 8,000 merchants countrywide with total assets exceeding KES 100 billion and a deposit base in excess of KES 80 billion.
Family Bank prides itself in being a digitally innovative bank having been the first bank to introduce paperless banking through smart card technology and mobile banking, PesaPap, in Kenya and the first to launch mVisa service in Africa.
In 2021 Family Bank received two awards; Financial Communication Campaign of the Year and Overall Public Relations Campaign of the Year at the 2021 Public Relations Society of Kenya Annual Awards for Excellence for the Corporate Bond Campaign where the Bank raised KES 4.42 billion via public placement marking a subscription of 147.3%. In 2020, Family Bank was voted as the Best Tier Two Bank and the overall second-best bank in Digital and Customer Experience in the Kenya Bankers Association Customer Satisfaction Survey.
Other awards include Best SME Bank in Kenya at the annual Banker Africa Awards 2017, East Africa –an award initiative for financial institutions in Africa, Think Business Fastest Growing Bank Award three years in a row between 2013 and 2015 and the Think Business Best Bank in Micro-Finance Award, 1st Runner-up in 2013 and 2014. For more information about Family Bank, please visit: www.familybank.co.ke
Media contact eco.business Fund
Marketing & Communications
Phone: +49 (0)69 / 271 035-746
Media contact Family Bank
Phone: +254 (0) 728 750 876