Sustainable operating practices are becoming a major competitive driver for agribusinesses, as consumers, regulators and civil society demand that sustainability, energy efficiency, and economic inclusion are considered at all stages of the agri-food value chain.
To support sustainable, innovative and responsible food production, we work with agribusinesses on energy and resource efficiency, productivity improvements, technology upgrades, as well as skills and knowledge uptake.
More than 2 million families in Kazakhstan rely on the dairy sector. The Collect Mobile app, developed by the EBRD and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), is helping to connect farmers with milk processors.
To reduce the environmental footprint of the agribusiness sector and improve the resilience of value chains, we support the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, energy and water use, food losses and waste, and the recovery of by-products. The EBRD’s Green Economy Transition approach in particular is aimed at providing access to, and scaling up, climate financing and resource-efficiency investments.
Producing high-quality food is important to satisfy more sophisticated consumer expectations. We assist the private sector to upgrade operations and implement higher food quality and safety standards. In turn, this helps agribusinesses access advanced markets and diversify exports.
We work with producers across the region to promote high-quality traditional products and support the development of quality labels (such as Geographical Indications or GIs), stimulating local production and employment in rural communities.
Better production standards also mean respecting animal welfare. All companies working in primary agriculture financed by the EBRD promote animal welfare standards in line with national regulations, relevant EU policies and good international standards. In 2014, the EBRD was the first IFI to adopt binding animal welfare criteria for investments.
We support the private sector to spur innovation and improve business practices at the firm level through research, assessments, targeted advice and technology transfer. This is achieved by partnering local companies with top research centres and institutions that can disseminate the latest research and technologies to stimulate new product development, business processes and higher efficiency. By bringing experience, advanced technologies and business models, and top research, local companies can upgrade their standards and improve productivity and competitiveness to facilitate trade.
We also promote skills and knowledge transfer to support companies that offer jobs and training opportunities for women, young people and population in rural areas. As the agribusiness sector remains an important employer in the countries where we invest, private companies are well placed to address youth unemployment, gender gaps in leadership of companies and business ownership, as well as refugee and migration flows.