Leading role on sustainability for Rabobank on COFCO International’s USD 2.1 billion loan

Rabobank played a leading role as Sustainability Coordinator in a USD 2.1 billion syndicated sustainability-linked loan which was signed on Tuesday for international agricultural commodity trader, COFCO International. It is the largest sustainability-linked facility for a commodity trader and amongst the first for a Chinese company.

The facility’s margins are linked to the company’s sustainability performance. Upon meeting the agreed sustainability targets, the related margin savings will be invested to further improve performance across sustainable supply, health and safety, environment, communities and upholding standards. The targets COFCO International has agreed to with its consortium of 20 banks include a year-on-year environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) performance improvement, assessed by Sustainalytics, and increasing traceability of agri-commodities, with a focus on directly sourced soy in Brazil, assessed by an independent inspector annually.

The new sustainability-linked loan will refinance COFCO International’s existing term and revolving credit facilities due to mature later this year.

Jan van Nieuwenhuizen, Member of the Managing Board at Rabobank, said: “We use our knowledge, networks and financial solutions to support our clients to improve the environmental and social sustainability of the food and agricultural sector. By incorporating sustainability KPIs into its core financing instrument, COFCO International is showcasing its commitment towards a higher level of transparency in some of the vulnerable agricultural value chains it is involved in. We are very proud to have aligned our vision to drive sustainable agriculture and to have worked closely with COFCO International as a sustainability coordinator.”

Accelerating sustainable agriculture

Playing a leading role in structuring the sustainability targets for COFCO International in this transaction is one of many examples of Rabobank’s commitment to help its clients achieve their ambitions in and for a sustainable society. Rabobank has the ambition to partner with its clients to develop financial solutions that truly make a difference in improving supply-chain sustainability worldwide. Rabobank also collaborates with a number of innovative clients and social partners to help them manage ambitious sustainability projects in agricultural value chains that can also inspire others to become more sustainable faster. In doing this, Rabobank adds value for its clients, and at the same time accelerates a sustainable agriculture and global food supply.

About COFCO International

With 11,000 people in 35 countries, COFCO International is the overseas agriculture business platform for COFCO Corporation, China's largest food and agriculture company. COFCO International is focused on being a leader in the global grains, oilseeds, sugar, coffee and cotton supply chains, with assets across the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific. The company trades with over 50 nations, while providing farmers unique direct access to the growing Chinese market. In 2018, COFCO International handled over 100 million tonnes of related commodities with revenues of $31bn. The company is accelerating its growth to create a world-class integrated global agriculture supply chain, anchored in China and competing globally.

Published: 16 July 2019, 14:00 CET

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