Smithfield Foods has completed a $60 million loan from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to Smithfield Romania to restructure its debts and support the company's growth plans to expand its farms and processing facilities in Romania. The investment will promote employment in the agribusiness sector and the spread of environmental, food safety, and animal husbandry best practices in Romania.
Smithfield Romania, a part of Smithfield Foods International Division, is a leading pork producer and processor in Europe. IFC is a member of the World Bank Group and is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. IFC works with private enterprises in about 100 countries to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.
"Today's announcement is a wonderful development for Smithfield Romania because the IFC loan will not only help promote greater production and job creation, but it will also enhance the company's ability to improve its sustainability program to meet the ever-changing needs and demands of its customers and consumers," said C. Larry Pope, Smithfield's president and chief executive officer.
Dariusz Nowakowski, president of Smithfield Europe, said that Smithfield Romania will use the $60 million IFC loan to restructure debt, expand production capacity and employment, and continue implementing best practices throughout the company's environmental, food safety and animal care systems. Smithfield Romania adheres to U.S. and European Union standards for environmental, health and food safety practices.
He pointed out that pork accounts for half of all protein consumption in Romania and demand for pork remains strong domestically and internationally. "We are committed to meeting this demand with the highest performance standards for environment and sustainability including animal welfare," Nowakowski said.
"The Smithfield Foods global family understands the value of integrating sustainability into every aspect of our business," said Dennis Treacy, Smithfield's executive vice president and chief sustainability officer.
"We all have a responsibility to the environment, our employees, our animals and our communities to never settle for what works well today," Treacy said. "At Smithfield, we will never stop improving. Producing Good food. Responsibly, is much more than just a slogan for us.""Romania's agribusiness sector holds great potential for generating employment and improving food security in the country and beyond," said Alzbeta Klein, IFC's director for manufacturing, agribusiness and services. "IFC is investing in industry leaders who are transferring higher standards, improving efficiency, and helping Romania contribute to global food security."