Washington, D.C., November 16, 2007
— IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has invested in Sociedad Agricola
Viru S.A., one of Peru’s 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 Viru’s competitiveness
in producing vegetables through better economies of scale and greater efficiency.
“Artichokes 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,”
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
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.
“By 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,”
said Marcene Broadwater, IFC Country Manager Perú and Bolivia..
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth
in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing
private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing
advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC’s
vision is that poor people have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve
their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized an additional
$3.9 billion through loan participations and structured finance for 299
investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory services
in 97 countries. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.