US fund invests in VN organic food company

Thursday, Jan 10, 2019 08:28

Executives of Organica and the US’s Small Enterprise Assistance Funds at the ceremony in HCM City on January 9 to announce their investment tie-up. — VNS Photo Xuan Huong

The US’s Small Enterprise Assistance Fund through its subsidiary, the SEAF Women’s Opportunity Fund, has invested in and lent to Organica Investment Joint Stock Company, one of Viet Nam’s leading retailers and distributors of organic and natural foods and beverages.

Speaking at the ceremony held to sign the deal in HCM City on Wednesday, Jennifer Buckley, managing director of SEAF Southeast Asia Management Ltd, said her fund has made over 400 investments across its 29 offices, a number of them in the organic food area.

SEAF Women’s Opportunity Fund is SEAF’s new fund that invests in women-led businesses in emerging markets in sectors that have a positive impact on society and high growth potential.

“The market for organic food is growing globally and this is also true in Viet Nam. SEAF will be assisting with the expansion of Organica’s retail chain and online distribution, helping to improve the company’s financial management and working to broaden its opportunities for business development.

“SEAF will also be providing a loan to Organica to ensure the company has sufficient capital to pursue its long-term growth plan.”

The two sides did not reveal the value of the deal, but Pham Phuong Thao, CEO of Organica, said SWOF would own a 30 per cent stake and the money would be enough for the company to implement its business plans in the next two to three years.

Established in 2013 as a small organic shop in District 3, Organica now has a chain of five stores in HCM City, Ha Noi and Da Nang.

In 2015, its organic vegetable farm in Long Thanh District in Dong Nai Province received certificates for meeting US and EU organic standards, the first tropical vegetable farm in the country to do so.

Organica now has 10 farms in many localities, most of them with organic certificates and some others on the way getting them.

Besides selling and distributing local products, Organica also sells organic foods imported from the US, EU, Australia and Korea. — VNS

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