Brazilian SPC supplier lands $80m sustainability linked loan

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/JJ Gouin
© GettyImages/JJ Gouin

Related tags soy protein concentrate Caramuru Brazil

Brazilian soy processor, Caramuru Alimentos, has secured an US$80m loan linked to sustainability goals.

This is the soy crusher’s first loan in relation to addressing sustainability objectives. As part of the loan's criteria, Caramuru must reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and expand traceability programs within its soy supply chain.

The company will use the funding to expand the production and export of soybean meal, according to a Reuters story. 

Caramuru CEO, Julio Costa, told the media outlet that the company will build a new soybean meal processing plant in Goias state, which will require a total investment of 250m reais ($46.79m). The factory is anticipated to come on stream in July 2023, and it will have processing capacity of around 100,000 tons.

The soy processor is also intending to invest around 75m reais (US$13.8m) towards the completiion of a storage facility in Mato Grosso, with capacity for 120,000 tons of non-GM soybean meal, he added.

Caramuru is a key supplier of soy protein concentrate (SPC) to the Norwegian salmon sector. The company is now looking to expand into additional markets, targeting Asian countries and Australia. 

In April this year, Caramuru confirmed a 25-year lease of a terminal at the port of Santana in Brazil. That port mainly handles SPC export volumes that are destined for the European market. Caramuru is ploughing around 53.9m reais (US$8m) into infrastructure projects over the next two years to enhance the terminal, with the objective of reducing the environmental impacts and costs of logistics as well as increasing the port’s competitiveness.

Deforestation targets

In January 2021, Caramuru along with other Brazilian SPC suppliers, CJ Selecta and Imcopa/Cervejaria Petrópoli, announced​ they would implement a 100% deforestation and land-conversion free soybean value chain in all of Brazil with August 2020 as their cut-off date.

That pledge, which came about following extensive dialogue between a working group involving those Brazilian companies and a raft of feed buyers in the European salmon sector, meant that soybeans produced on land converted after that date cannot enter the supply chain of any of these SPC suppliers.

The companies committed to promote a soy supply chain free from illegal and/or legal deforestation, to respect the rights of workers, indigenous peoples, and local communities, and to ensure that sourcing was fully compliant with national and local environmental laws and regulations. Together with the sustainability standard owner, ProTerra, and WWF Brazil, those SPC and soybean meal suppliers also agreed on a robust MRV system, based on the Accountability Framework initiative, to implement and enforce their commitment to zero deforestation.

Findings​ of an audit, released in March this year, which relied on satellite techniques and embargo lists, confirmed that CJ Selecta, Caramuru, and Imcopa kept their promises.

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