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China’s agricultural giant gets largest sustainability-linked loan for commodity trader

COFCO International, the Geneva-based global trading arm of China’s biggest food and agricultural company, said Wednesday the 2.1-billion-U.S. dollar credit it has just signed for is the biggest sustainability-linked loan for a commodity trader.

A spokesperson told Xinhua that the company signed the loan facility with a consortium of 20 Chinese and international banks on Tuesday and that margins are linked to the company’s sustainability performance in the protection of the environment.

If the company meets the agreed targets, it will invest the related margin savings in improving further its performance tied to sustainable supply, health and safety, the environment, communities, and to upholding standards.

The spokesperson stressed that traceability to origin is a prerequisite to building more sustainable supply chains, which matches its ambition to meet the world’s increasing demand for food “in a responsible way”.

“As a rapidly-growing international agri-business, meeting rising demand for food in a sustainable way is key to our purpose,” said Johnny Chi, chairman of COFCO International.

He cited an article by Lv Jun, chairman of COFCO Corporation, which read that businesses, governments, civil society, producers and consumers all have a shared responsibility to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for food security and sustainable production.

“With our main financing now linked to sustainability performance, we fully commit ourselves to further driving sustainability into our operations and supply chains,” said Chi.

With 11,000 people in 35 countries, COFCO International is the overseas agriculture business platform for COFCO Corporation, China’s largest food and agriculture company.

It trades with over 50 nations while providing farmers unique direct access to the growing Chinese market.

Aiming to be a leader in the global grains, oilseeds, sugar, coffee and cotton supply, COFCO International handled over 100 million tonnes of related commodities with revenues of 31 billion U.S. dollars in 2018.
Source: Xinhua

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