The loan to the mango processing company will sustain up to 500 jobs and support the work of 3,000 mango farmers in Southern Mali.
Photo: Bridget Coila (cropped)
Social impact investor Oikocredit provided a loan of € 1.6 million to Comafruits, a fruit processing company in Mali. Comafruits has been active for more than ten years in this sector, exporting its products to the European and North American food markets.
Oikocredit's loan will be used to purchase fresh mangos and supply packaging materials. Furthermore, the loan will enable purchasing of conditioning equipment needed to process and export mango products, e.g. mango puree and frozen mango. The loan will help Comafruits expand its smallholder farmer suppliers' network and strengthen its relationships with international buyers.
Being organic certified (Ecocert) and Rainforest Alliance certified, Comafruits actively improves the livelihood of more than 3,000 mango farmers and their families. The company invests in improving local community infrastructure and offers much needed permanent and seasonal jobs.
Thanks to its central position in the Selingue mango production area and its prior significant capital investments, Comafruits has remained profitable despite the Covid-19 crisis and challenges of operating under lockdown in a landlocked country.
Dino Ballestra, CEO of Comafruits, stated: “We are grateful that Oikocredit recognised our potential and is supporting the business activities of Comafruits. We are excited to collaborate with Oikocredit and strengthen our capacities to source and process mangos. With this loan, we will be able to provide much-needed funds to more farmers and support better employment in the region.”
Yves Komaclo, Oikocredit's Investment Manager for West Africa, stated: “We are delighted to support Comafruits. Our collaboration will help sustain a market outlet for farmers, who would otherwise see a big part of their production go to waste. It will also increase Comafruits’ efficiency and export capacity. We are thrilled to be able to work on improving our social impact in the local communities in Mali.
This article was originally published by Oikocredit.