Banks give Viterra access to sustainability-linked credit

Grain Central, March 7, 2022

Viterra is already a major exporter to Europe of Australian canola grown to ISCC standards.

VITERRA has established an $800 million borrowing base facility (BBF) to supports the company’s ability to purchase grain directly from growers and protein meals for import which achieve sustainability targets.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CommBank) has a major involvement, and other banks in the syndicate are: Rabobank, ANZ; MUFG Bank; ING Bank; Mizuho Bank; Westpac; DBS Bank, and NAB.

CommBank said the BBF linked Viterra’s cost of capital to its performance against agreed sustainability targets over a four-year period.

The targets focus on:

  • grower engagement with International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC);
  • purchasing ISCC-certified Australian-grown grain, and
  • securing protein meals for import into Australia that are sourced from overseas farms that follow sustainable agricultural practices, including non-deforestation.

ISCC is already a standard for some Australian exports, including canola shipped to the EU for biodiesel production.

The BBF also supports sustainable agriculture efforts overseas, including non-deforestation, through the purchase of sustainably-grown oilseeds for protein meal imports into Australia.

This is ostensibly soymeal, of which Australia is a net importer.

Viterra CEO Australia and New Zealand Philip Hughes said the BBF would help to support the company’s purchase of grain direct from growers across Australia.

“This BBF is the third sustainability-linked facility across Viterra’s global network and supports the emphasis we place on our sustainability pillars of health and safety, environment, community and human rights and food and feed safety.”

He said Viterra had already purchased $2.4 billion worth of grain from more than 8000 growers since November last year, and was supplying it to customers in Australia and overseas.

“We have already exported nearly 3 million tonnes this season to 25 destinations around the world,” Mr Hughes said.

“We have a long term focus to work with our grower customers to ensure the sustainability of products we export from Australia as well as the products we import.”

Viterra is owned by majority stakeholder Glencore, with the balance held by Canadian Pension Plan Investments and British Colombia Investment Management Corporation.

Source: CommBank, Viterra

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