Westfalia - HSBC UK 1

Westfalia claims to be the world’s leading avocado supplier and is looking to expand its sustainable avocado production 

Westfalia Fruit Group has received $300m (£242m) funding from a trio of banks to boost its international growth.

The Kent-headquartered fruit supplier will use the multimillion-dollar revolving credit facility from HSBC UK, the International Finance Corporation and Standard Bank to fund potential investments and working capital.

It claims to be the world’s leading avocado supplier and is looking to expand its sustainable avocado production at its existing packaging, ripening and storage facilities while exploring new markets.

Westfalia will invest in its orchards and nurseries in Colombia, India, Chile, Mozambique, Peru and South Africa to scale up avocado production.

“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,” said CEO Alk Brand.

HSBC UK acted as mandated lead arranger and documentation co-ordinator on the refinance, with each lender increasing their participation to $100m (£80m) in the revolving credit facility.

The deal was described as able to “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 opportunity for growth,” by Clive Potter, head of client coverage South Africa at Standard Bank.

Danny Goldblum, head of large corporate coverage at HSBC UK, said: “The global fresh fruit market is expected to grow by 5.53% annually, and this funding will help to meet rising demand and grow the global agriculture sector, providing new jobs across Africa, South America and India.” 

Westfalia aims to be carbon neutral by 2030 and said it would continue to introduce climate-smart growing techniques to preserve energy and water and reduce pesticide use.

It will also use drought and disease-resilient varieties to address the impact of climate change.

Brand added: “The partnership with HSBC UK, IFC 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.

Adamou Labara, country manager for South Africa at IFC, said: “Developing sustainable avocado markets can help boost agriculture productivity to reduce poverty, especially in rural areas where people mainly work in farming.

“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.”