The EBRD continues to support Russia’s agribusiness with a US$ 10 million loan to a Moscow fresh salad producer, ZAO Belaya Dacha LTD, which will help the company build a new plant near St Petersburg and develop salad production in central and southern Russia.
Previously, the Bank already invested USD 10 million for a 9.91 percent stake in the share capital of ZAO Belaya Dacha Trading, the leading producer of fresh-cut, ready-to-eat packaged salads in Moscow and its surrounding region.
The company, whose biggest customers are McDonalds, X5 Retail Group, Auchan and other major retail and fast-food chains, is pursuing a strategy of regional expansion that will stimulate local farmers to grow vegetables for the group. It will then process them nearer the consumer, thus providing fresher, higher quality products that will have a longer shelf-life.
The group has already invested in expanding its facilities in the Moscow to meet growing demand for fresh-cut produce in the Russian capital. The new network of processing plants will both allow the group to reach more distant clients while also creating demand for locally grown vegetables.
Belaya Dacha started business in 1994 as a small workshop where staff manually cut lettuces. It specialises in producing fresh cut ready-to-eat packaged salads and vegetable mixes which are mainly sold through supermarket chains and supplied to hotels, restaurants and cafes.
In the agribusiness sector alone the EBRD has directly committed over €6.4 billion in over 420 projects across central and eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States since 1991. The relevant EBRD agribusiness figures for Russia in that same period are over 70 projects totalling €1.9 billion.