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Oikocredit’s new partnership with Patagonian Fruits supports Argentina’s fruit sector

AMERSFOORT, April 11, 2024 – Social impact investor Oikocredit is providing € 6 million in long-term financing to Patagonian Fruits in Argentina to support fruit purchases from farmers, boost production, invest in protective netting and increase exports.

Oikocredit’s five-year loan will assist Patagonian Fruits, one of Argentina’s leading fruit companies, in expanding its work with smallholder growers of conventional, organic and biodynamic apples, pears and kiwis and its processing, packing and exports. The company, based in the fruit-growing Alto Valle region of northern Patagonia, will use the finance for climate-change-resilience investments – mainly for netting fruit orchards on its own farms and in partnering with local producers – and as working capital to continue purchasing fruit from more than 100 outgrower farmers.

Investment in netting has become essential to counter increasing fruit damage from frost, heat spikes, sunburn, strong winds and other climate-induced extreme weather. It also enables water saving through efficient irrigation and ensures stable production every year. Many of Patagonian Fruits’ suppliers lack access to financing, mechanisation and international markets, as well as being exposed to climate change. The company’s contribution includes certification and support for on-farm improvements.

Hernan J. Secreto, Chief Finance Officer Patagonian Fruits, said: “Our new partnership with Oikocredit marks an important step in Patagonian Fruits’ journey. As a major producer and exporter in a labour-intensive sector, this investment will help us safeguard and improve many livelihoods, support the rural economy and local social projects, and continue to meet the high quality standards demanded by international markets.”

On the other hand, Nicolas Viedma Cestarolli, Oikocredit’s Investment Manager for Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay said: “Oikocredit strives to continue supporting agricultural partners that build long-term relationships with their farmers by providing scale, financing and training, among other services, and generating tangible improvements in their lives. Our new loan to Patagonian Fruits is an excellent example of this.”

Based in General Roca, southern Argentina, Patagonian Fruits’ main activity is the production, packing and marketing of fresh apples, pears and kiwis of conventional, organic and biodynamic production.

Patagonian Fruits owns farms, packing plants and cold stores, and contracts third-party export logistics to supply supermarkets worldwide. It buys much of its fruit from more than 100 mainly smallholder farmers and is committed to working sustainably with nature.

On the other hand, social impact investor and worldwide cooperative Oikocredit has nearly five decades of experience funding organisations active in financial inclusion, agriculture and renewable energy.

Oikocredit’s loans, equity investments and capacity building aim to enable people on low incomes in Africa, Asia and Latin America to improve their living standards sustainably.

Oikocredit finances more than 500 partners, with total outstanding capital of € 1,037.2 million as at September 2023.

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