Organica Executive Director Pham Phuong Thao (L) and SEAF Senior Managing Director Jennifer Buckey (Source: VNA) 
 
HCM City (VNA) – The Small Enterprise Assistance Funds (SEAF) Women’s Opportunity Fund (SWOF) and Organica Investment JSC signed a cooperation agreement in Ho Chi Minh City on January 9 to develop organic food production and trade.

Accordingly, SWOF will buy 30 percent of stake in Organica to become its strategic shareholder. It will also assist Organica in financial governance and offer it a long-term loan for market expansion.

SEAF Senior Managing Director Jennifer Buckey said her firm is a global investment management group based in the US. It provides growth capital for promising small- and medium-sized enterprises in emerging markets. In Vietnam, SEAF has invested in over 20 companies operating in different fields, with Organica as the first organic food company it has invested in.

Apart from trade and financial factors meeting SEAF’s requirements, the Organica trademark has come to be highly trusted by customers. Its collaboration with farmers in many localities to switch from traditional to organic farming will ensure local sustainable development, she said.

Organica Executive Director Pham Phuong Thao said Organica is one of the pioneering trademarks in organic food production and supply in Vietnam, adding that the loan from SWOF will help Organica open more retail outlets, upgrade online sales system to bring more organic products to Vietnamese consumers, as well as improve its financial and workforce capacity.

Thao wished that more foreign funds and investors would invest in organic food and agriculture for mutual development. She said though the demand for organic food has increased, SMEs in organic agriculture still meet difficulties in capital, business strategy, and access to consumers. –VNA