U.K. invests USD 16.6 million into eco.business Fund to promote sustainable agriculture in Latin America and the Caribbean

U.K. invests USD 16.6 million into eco.business Fund to promote sustainable agriculture in Latin America and the Caribbean

The eco.business Fund Sub-Fund Latin America & the Caribbean (eco.business LAC) has received a boost of USD 16.6 million thanks to the U.K. Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA). The investment into the fund’s junior shares will support eco.business LAC in promoting sustainable agricultural practices that conserve biodiversity while mitigating and adapting to climate change.

This is DEFRA’s second contribution to the fund after investing USD 25.1 million in 2015, bringing its total investment to USD 41.7 million. The eco.business Fund uses a blended finance model that leverages public capital, such as that provided by DEFRA, as a risk cushion to incentivize private investment in frontier markets – a public-private partnership that enables the fund to mobilize increased resources for sustainable development.

The fund’s end borrowers range from entrepreneurs to family-run businesses– all with the common goal to produce key crops in a sustainable way. The eco.business Fund is committed to contributing to the preservation of biodiversity-rich ecosystems by, for example, supporting Banco Pichincha and the end borrower Eco Kakao in Ecuador to grow sustainable cocoa, Banco Davivienda in Costa Rica financing sustainable pineapples being exported, and Banco Hipotecario in El Salvador supporting SiCafe, a business growing shade-grown coffee.

Dr. Jens Mackensen, Chairperson of the eco.business Fund Board of Directors, said: “DEFRA has been an important eco.business partner since early on in the fund’s beginnings. This renewed investment solidifies the U.K. government’s trust in the fund and its belief in the work we do. Latin America and the Caribbean contain some of the world’s most biodiverse regions, and simultaneously some of the most vulnerable to climate change. We are proud to continue this partnership to provide much-needed funding for solutions that help local businesses implement green practices.”

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. By providing financing for business practices that conserve nature and foster biodiversity, the fund seeks investments with both environmental and financial returns. The fund mainly provides loans to qualified financial institutions that on-lend the money to eligible borrowers, which include holders of recognized certifications or those making improvements in line with conservation and biodiversity goals. The fund supports sustainable operations in the sectors of agriculture, fishery (including aquaculture), forestry and tourism.

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). It has received further donor support from the European Commission The fund’s additional investor base comprises IDB Invest, a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, the U.K.  government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Dutch development bank FMO, Austrian development bank OeEB, and institutional investors such as sustainable banking institution ASN Bank, German ethical bank GLS Bank, Calvert Impact Capital, and Raiffeisen Bank International. Finance in Motion, a leading impact investing company, is also an investor.

Operating hand-in-hand with the eco.business Fund, the eco.business Development Facility provides high-impact technical assistance to financial institutions and final borrowers.

For more information please visit www.ecobusiness.fund and follow us on Twitter @ecobusinessfund.


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