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WASHINGTON, D.C., September 29, 1999
— The International Finance Corporation has long worked with Russian farmers to privatize collective farms and help them establish viable agriculture-based businesses. But for the first time, IFC is now investing in one of those enterprises, Campina OOO, a yogurt maker in Stupino, Russia.
IFC has made a loan of Euro 9.4 million, US$10 million, in a greenfield, or start-up, yogurt processing facility that will be a model for development of the Russian dairy sector. The project, which provides a commercial outlet for fresh milk from local farms, will set an example for the industry through the use of modern, efficient, environmentally-sound technology to produce high quality yogurt at affordable prices.
The company is the Russian subsidiary of Campina Melkunie B.V., a Dutch dairy cooperative which specializes in the development, production, sale and distribution of dairy and dairy related products for the food and pharmaceuticals industries.
The project is the first major private investment that is directly linked to IFC's extensive Technical Assistance Program in the CIS on Land Privatization and Farm Reorganization. Since 1997 Campina Melkunie B.V., the Netherlands/IFC Trust Fund financed by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, and IFC's own Technical Assistance Fund have co-financed and implemented a technical assistance program to support dairy farmers in the Stupino region in an effort to create viable and sustainable business partners in the vertical food chain.
Mr. Tei Mante, Director of IFC's Agribusiness Department said that IFC has made it an important priority in Russia to accelerate reforms in agricultural and rural development by addressing the lack of rural credit, equipment and access to markets. He said the investment grew from IFC's recognized expertise in the agribusiness sector, knowledge of the country, and hands-on involvement through the Land Privatization and Farm Reorganization.
The mission of IFC, part of the World Bank Group, is to promote private sector investment in developing countries, which will reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.
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