IFC Loan to Help Peruís Sociedad Agricola Viru Expand and Support Economic Development in Local Communities
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has invested in Sociedad Agricola Viru S.A., one of Peruís leading agribusiness companies. The $15 million loan will help the company develop its canning plant and expand benefits to employees, farmers, and local communities.
Founded in 1994, Viru is the largest exporter of canned vegetables in Peru. It manages more than 3,500 hectares of owned and leased plantations in the Ica and La Libertad regions, where it produces asparagus, artichokes, and peppers. The company also owns three canning plants in Chincha and Trujillo. The expansion project is expected to improve Viruís competitiveness in producing vegetables through better economies of scale and greater efficiency.
ďArtichokes and peppers were nearly nonexistent as crops in Peru five years ago, when we began diversifying, growing them in addition to asparagus. Today, these new crops represent over $100 million in country exports,Ē said Miguel Nicolini, CEO of Sociedad Agricola Viru S.A.
Viru is a major contributor to the local economy, with more than 4,500 employees, including full-time and seasonal workers. Over the years, the company has built a constructive relationship with the communities in which it operates. It has established a social responsibility department that aims to improve the quality of life for its workforce and the local community, with a focus on improving the educational system, security, and income generation.
The company also procures some of its produce from third parties who benefit from canning operations. It has developed relationships with about 120 independent producers of peppers and artichokes. Viru has been the pioneer in artichoke production in Arequipa, where it was the first to introduce and promote production from third parties.
ďBy supporting Viru, IFC is providing long-term funding with competitive pricing and amortization schedules that are not available in Peru. This will allow the company to face an increasingly competitive export market,Ē said Marcene Broadwater, IFC Country Manager Perķ and Bolivia..
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