British International Investment

Ecom Agroindustrial Corp

AfricaFood & Agriculture

Ecom Agroindustrial Corp is a commodity merchant and sustainable supply chain management company. The company procures from roughly 680,000 farmers across Africa, with over 800,000 farmers in the company’s global supply chain.

This investment was made when British International Investment was named CDC Group.

Our investment

Description of the investment.

CDC first backed Ecom in 2014, and our new investment will allow Ecom to continue improving farmers’ livelihoods by providing them with access to overseas markets, improving farming practices and enhancing sustainable farming through training and access to technology.

Impact information

Applies to investments made from 2019 onwards. The tabs in this section define what we expect to achieve through the investment, assessing the potential impact of the investment against six dimensions of impact. You can find more details on our methodology of assessing impact here.

What?

Impact
  • Improve economic sustainability and resilience of farmers (SDG 2.3).
  • Environmental sustainability through more sustainable farming practices (SDG 2.4, 12.2, 12.6).

How?

How?

Our loan (part of a development finance institution (DFI) consortium with Dutch DFI, FMO, and German DFI, DEG) will support ECOM with investments in capex, farmer initiatives and permanent working capital, which will support farmers in accessing markets overseas, improve yields/quality and farm more sustainably through training, inputs and technology.

Who?

Stakeholder Geography Characteristics
Suppliers (farmers)

While the company operates globally, CDC’s capital will be earmarked for Africa. The top five countries with the largest number of farmers sourced from are Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, Cote d’Ivoire and Ethiopia.

  • ECOM procures directly from farmers and indirectly through cooperatives. Most farmers (more than 90 per cent) have landholdings of less than 20 hectares, and 25 per cent are female.

How much?

Scale Depth/Duration

In 2019, ECOM sourced from c. 680,000 farmers in Africa. Globally, there are more than 800,000 farmers in ECOM’s supply chain.

The impact will occur over 7 years (loan tenor).

Contribution/additionality

Contribution/additionality
  • Financial additionality: Commercial capital is not available on the same terms, i.e. DFIs offer longer tenors.
  • Value additionality: We will support ECOM in improving standards and practices, and provide technical expertise as part of the DFI consortium.

Grid score

Grid Score

To help us direct our investments, we previously used a tool called the Development Impact Grid. It scored investments out of four, based on two factors: the difficulty of investing in a country and the propensity of the sector to generate employment. This tool was used for investments until the end of 2021. Since 2022 it has been replaced by the Impact Score.

3.3

Risk

Evidence Risk
  • Given the funding structure at Group level, CDC cannot attribute all impact outcomes to our capital.

Reporting and Complaints Mechanism

The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism allows anyone outside BII to report alleged breaches of the business integrity or environmental and social provisions of BII’s Policy on Responsible Investing. This includes breaches made by BII, a BII investee, or a portfolio company of a fund in which BII has invested. The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism Rules are available here. Reports and complaints can be submitted by email to [email protected] or by mail. See more details on our Reporting and Complaints Mechanism here.

For any other general enquiries contact us at [email protected]

  • Key facts

    Last updated

    When the last quarterly update of the website database occurred.

    :
    March 2024
    Project number

    An identifier number shared by investments in the same project.

    :
    D166
    Status

    The current status of the investment (green flag for active and red flag for exited).

    :
    Active
    Region

    The geographical region where the country is located. We currently invest in Africa, South Asia, South East Asia and the Caribbean. In 2023, BII’s investment mandate was extended allowing it to invest in regional funds linked to Ukraine, with the majority of activity expected to begin post-war. Investments outside these regions were made prior to 2012 under previous investment mandates.

    :
    Africa
    Sector

    We prioritise those sectors that facilitate development and need our capital the most. Our priority sectors contribute towards many of the Sustainable Development Goals. They range from investing in the power infrastructure that will provide people with better access to electricity, to investing in financial institutions that direct capital to the individuals and businesses that need it the most.

    :
    Food & Agriculture

    We provide capital in the following ways: directly – through direct equity, direct debt, guarantees and other non-intermediated financial instruments; and indirectly – principally through investment funds.

    For direct investments and fund investments, this is the date BII committed capital to the investments. This is typically the date on which legal agreements are signed by all parties.

    For the portfolio companies of our fund investments, this is the date (either the month or the quarter) on which the fund committed capital to the portfolio company.

    For direct equity investments, this is the date at which British International Investment exited the investment.

    For debt investments, this is the date at which the final debt repayment was made.

    For funds, this is the date at which the fund was terminated.

    For underlying fund investments, this is the date at which the fund manager exited the investment.

    The total amount committed, per financial instrument, per investment, on the date BII becomes subject to a binding legal obligation to provide funding or assume a contingent liability. This information is provided in US dollars.

    For direct investments, this is the amount that BII has committed to the business or project. For fund investments, this is the amount BII has committed to the fund.

    The currency in which the investment was made.

    Investment type :
    Debt
    Start date :
    December 2020
    Amount :
    $50m
    Currency of investment :
    USD
    Domicile

    The company or investment fund’s place of incorporation.

    :
    Switzerland

Related investments made by BII into this company:

Investment name Commitment Region Sector Start date Status
Investment 01 $25m Africa Food & Agriculture December 2014 Exited

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