Univeg gets stake in Suriname banana industry privatization
Suriname's Ministry of Agriculture has reached a deal with Belgian produce multinational Univeg to privatize the vast majority of its shares in banana entity Stichting Behoud Banana Sector (SBBS).
A Univeg release did not state how much was paid for SBBS but it will now hold 90% of the company that has 2,000 hectares of banana production and an annual turnover of $65 million.
The release said SBBS would start operating under the name FAI NV (Food and Agriculture Industries N.V.).
"The business reasons for this acquisition are in line with UNIVEG’s continued strategy to secure long term sourcing requirements to optimally service its retail customers. UNIVEG is aware of its responsibilities towards the local communities and believes in the huge potential of FAI as a leader in sustainable agricultural practices and positive social impact," said Univeg Group CEO Francis Kint.
Univeg France managing director Nicolas Morinière said SBBS had been a business partner since it was revitalized with the support of the European Union, making it operational since 2006.
"We are proud to have been selected in this process. Suriname has great assets for the production of tropical products, such as a skilled workforce, ideal climate, soils and luminosity," Morinière said.
Suriname Agriculture Minister Hendrik Setrowidjojo said the country was placed that a long term partner like Univeg was selected as an investor through the international trender that took place, and he looked forward to a "fruitful relationship".
"The Republic of Suriname has as policy to sustain the banana sector for the long term and to safeguard the employment in this sector," Setrowidjojo said.
"In selecting UNIVEG we found a good home for the future development and marketing of the Suriname banana."