World Bank approves US$90 million (€68 million) loan to Brazilian beef exporter

BRAZIL - The International Finance Corporation, the private equity lender of the World Bank, approved a US$90 million (€68 million) loan to Brazil's second-largest beef exporter, Bertin Group, on Thursday.
calendar icon 9 March 2007
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The loan will support Bertin's program to expand and modernize its operations across the country, including in the Amazon region.

Environmental groups including Friends of the Earth and the Sierra Club had lobbied against the loan, saying it would lead to further deforestation of the rain forest.

But in a statement, the IFC called the project "an opportunity to partner and engage a leading private sector company in tackling the most serious environmental and social issues facing the Brazilian Amazon."

The IFC loan requires that Bertin submit to frequent bank audits and buy its cattle from ranchers who have legal title to their property and are not deforesting to expand pasture land.

The loan is part of Bertin's planned US$141 million (€107 million) investment strategy for 2007, including upgrades to facilities and expansion of meat packing operations in the eastern Amazon state of Para.

Source: International Herald Tribune
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