EBRD supports Ukrainian grain sector by lending US$ 50 million to ACTI Ukraine

By Anton Usov

The EBRD is stepping up its support of Ukrainian agribusiness with a new deal within the framework of its Private Sector for Food Security Initiative.

The EBRD is providing a US$ 50 million revolving loan facility to Alfred C. Toepfer (Ukraine) Ltd (ACTI Ukraine) to finance the company’s working capital needs associated with production of agricultural commodities in Ukraine.

The Initiative aims to help address the global challenge of food security by promoting greater involvement from the private sector. It facilitates private sector investment to increase food production by enabling a better business environment through policy dialogue, technical assistance and global coordination.

ACTI Ukraine, a long-standing client of the EBRD, is a fully-owned subsidiary of Germany-based Alfred C. Toepfer International Group (Toepfer), one of the world’s leading agricultural commodity supply chain operators specialising in the sourcing and trading of agricultural products, such as grain, oilseeds, feedstuffs and fertilizers.

The agreement between the EBRD and ACTI Ukraine was signed by both parties, on the eve of the Private Sector for Food Security Conference which is taking place on 13 September. The Conference is jointly organised by the EBRD with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and hosted by Turkey’s Minister for Agriculture and Rural Affairs. The Conference, which will be opened by the EBRD's President, Sir Suma Chakrabarti, and FAO’s Director-General, José Graziano da Silva, and will focus on the private sector’s role in addressing food security through investment along the food chain.

“Toepfer is a significant contributor to the EBRD’s policy dialogue in the grain sector in Ukraine”, highlighted Sir Suma. Gilles Mettetal, the EBRD’s Director for Agribusiness, added that: “the project between the Bank and ACTI Ukraine promotes leading business practices in the grain sector and we are proud to be supporting this important player.”

“Ukraine has become a global player in world grain markets, and our organisation in Ukraine has turned into a strategic asset for our company” says Gary Towne, Chairman of the Management Board of Alfred C. Toepfer International based in Hamburg. “Toepfer has successfully operated for almost 20 years in this country, and without the partnership of the EBRD, this would not have been possible. The EBRD understands our business extremely well and supports us financially. But even more important, the EBRD is a key player in building institutions for agricultural markets in Ukraine.”

Ukraine is becoming an increasingly important player in global food markets with the potential to contribute to food security on a larger scale. The EBRD is the largest financial investor in Ukraine, with agribusiness accounting for about a quarter of its business volume. As of the end of August 2012, the Bank had committed over €8 billion (US$ 10 billion) through 320 projects in Ukraine.