The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) approved on Friday, July 10, 2015 a two-year €100-million Soft Commodity Finance Facility for Sucres & Denrées Côte d’Ivoire (Sucden CI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Sucden SA in France. This facility will help Sucden CI to expand its pre-financing arrangements with cooperatives and local suppliers in the cocoa sector in Côte d’Ivoire.
This project is well aligned with AfDB’s objective of fostering inclusive growth as well as with the core operational priority of private sector development. The facility will provide a stable source of funding and the necessary liquidity to Sucden CI, and over time help to increase the export of cocoa from Côte d’Ivoire, build the capacity of local suppliers and cooperatives and in the process expand output of the cocoa sector. The facility will be used to provide financing to scores of cooperatives and local suppliers to help strengthen the cocoa supply chain and promote private sector development in Côte d’Ivoire.
AfDB’s additionality in this project stems from its role as the continent’s premier development finance institution that is committed to the promotion of exports. At a time when international commercial banks are re-focusing on their core markets and conserving risk capita and local banks are constrained by the size of their balance sheets, AfDB’s support to a sector that many other financial institutions generally perceive to be high risk becomes highly additional. The Bank’s support to such a critical sector like cocoa in Côte d’Ivoire helps fill an emerging funding gap and sends a strong signal to other financial institutions to also render support to the cocoa sector and agribusiness in general.
Sucres & Denrées was founded by Maurice Varsano in 1952. The Group, headquartered in Paris, remains private and is presently led by Maurice’s son, Serge Varsano. It is a recognised market leader in the global business of sugar. Through the years, the Group has expanded its scope of activities beyond sugar into other products and services like the supply chain management of cocoa beans and cocoa products, coffee beans and ethanol, as well as financial and commodities brokerage. With an entrepreneurial and creative team of more than 4,000 employees in over 30 locations worldwide, Sucres & Denrées strives to serve its customers with quality and integrity. www.sucden.com