Impact report 2017
Triodos Organic Growth Fund

Investing in the European sector for organic food and sustainable consumer products.

Investing in the transition towards sustainable consumption

The topic of responsible consumption is multifaceted. Considering issues of feeding a growing world population, loss of biodiversity and soil fertility, the impact of climate change, and the relationship between food and our health and wellbeing, can sometimes feel like an overwhelming challenge.

With Triodos Organic Growth Fund we address these global challenges by investing in the much-needed transition to more sustainable agricultural systems and consumption patterns. How? By providing long-term mission-aligned private equity to leading European organic food and sustainable consumer businesses that are making a difference.

Jurriën Appers

By zooming in on these inspiring frontrunners in our fund, from Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands, we want to give you a flavour of the importance and dynamics of this fast-growing sector, presented in the context of activities, stories, films and numbers.

Jurriën Appers
Fund Manager Triodos Organic Growth Fund

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
We invest in European frontrunners that are making a difference.

Investing for impact

Our vision and approach to investing in sustainable consumption and production.

Why do we invest in sustainable consumption and production?

Triodos Organic Growth Fund addresses the following three global challenges and has formulated its impact goals accordingly.

Environment

Environment

We consume more natural resources than the earth can provide. This global overuse leads to natural resource depletion, such as declining soil fertility and increasing pollution and scarcity. There is a loss of biodiversity and decreased resilience in the supply chains of food and other consumer products. Furthermore, there is the harsh reality that animals in intensive farming and production systems often live in discomfort and suffer unnecessarily. Triodos Organic Growth Fund targets two broad environmental objectives:

  • preserve soil fertility and biodiversity and stimulate animal welfare by promoting organic farming and renewable sourcing
  • increase food and resource efficiency by promoting efficient production, waste minimisation and circularity
Socio-economic

Socio-economic

Consumers, by the choices they make when buying food and other products, have a major impact on which products are being produced, and how they are produced. However, many consumers lack awareness on how their consumption is linked to production processes, the harm it can bring to the environment, and the effects it has on society. Food, for example, appears never to have been cheaper. However, the prices we pay do not reflect true prices as they do not include the damage that food production and consumption patterns are causing to the environment, to soil, to biodiversity, to rural communities and to public health. These costs are in fact deferred onto future generations. Furthermore, increasing power concentration within the supply chains deepens imbalances between the different players in this chain, especially local producers. Triodos Organic Growth Fund targets two broad socio-economic objectives:

  • catalyse fair and transparent business practices by promoting Fair Trade, transparent value chains and 'green economy' jobs
  • grow the share of sustainable consumption by increasing consumer awareness and access to sustainable consumer products
Sector development

Sector development

The frontrunners in the fast growing European sector for organic food and sustainable consumer products, now mature companies, are hampered in their growth and faced with succession issues by the lack of long-term capital that is aligned with their companies’ missions and values. Triodos Organic Growth Fund targets two broad sector development objectives:

  • enable the growth of the sector for sustainable consumption and production by safeguarding companies’ independence, entrepreneurship and mission
  • demonstrate and promote viability of a new instrument for impact investing: mission-aligned private equity with a long-term investment horizon, not driven by exits

Anchored in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainable development goals

The urgency for the much-needed transition towards sustainable production and consumption is also anchored in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a set of goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. In particular, SDG 12 calls for responsible consumption and production. Why? Because if the global population reaches 9.6 billion by 2050, the equivalent of almost three planets will be required to sustain current lifestyles.

And in a broader context, food and agriculture is a key theme for Triodos Organic Growth Fund and lies at the very heart of the SDGs, from ending poverty and hunger to responding to climate change and sustaining our natural resources.

We consume more natural resources than the earth can provide.

Evergreen investing across the value chain

Evergreen approach

Triodos Organic Growth Fund provides long-term capital to a diversified portfolio of leading organic food and sustainable consumer companies across Europe, based on an ‘evergreen’ approach. Private equity often has a short-term focus on profit maximisation due to the limited duration of such a fund. By creating an evergreen fund, Triodos Organic Growth Fund can remain invested in companies without the pressure of an exit, thereby supporting them in realising their long-term environmental, social and financial goals. This approach safeguards the companies’ independence, entrepreneurship and mission.

Across the value chain

Triodos Organic Growth Fund seeks to catalyse and support the value chain for organic food and sustainable consumer products. A chain in which (agricultural) production, distribution and consumption strikes a balance between the earth’s natural resources and the needs of society. Through its investments in sourcing, product development, production, wholesaling and retailing, the fund is active throughout the value chain from (natural) resources to final products, and from the farmer to the end consumer. The companies in portfolio at year-end 2017, DO-IT, Naturfrisk, Naty, Aarstiderne, and Marqt illustrate this.

  • Sourcing
  • Production and
    product development
  • Wholesale
  • Retail and
    direct sales
DO-IT: importer, distributor and branding Dutch company DO-IT is an importer and distributor of organic food ingredients and actively works with suppliers in both developing countries and in Europe to promote organic agricultural practices and meet the increasing demand for high-quality organic produce.
From (natural) resources to final products, and from the farmer to the end consumer.

What did we achieve in 2017?

Marqt in the Netherlands

Dutch retail chain Marqt operates fifteen stores and was set up to radically change the value chain of food by introducing a fair distribution model for growers, processors and retailers and by offering customers higher-quality food at a fair price in a modern and trend-setting atmosphere.

How does Marqt contribute to the environmental and socio-economic impact goals of Triodos Organic Growth Fund?

Environment

Environment - Preserve soil fertility and biodiversity

No chemical pesticides

65% - 100% The only way to guarantee no chemical pesticides is with organic farming. Roughly 65% of Marqt’s fresh produce department is certified organic, 68% of its farmed fish is organic, while 80% of its dairy products is certified organic or biodynamic.

Animal Welfare

95% Marqt believes that daily groceries should be good and healthy for everyone. This includes showing respect to animals. Approximately 95% of Marqt’s meat offering is certified (2* Beter Leven, organic or comparable). 80% of its fresh dairy department is certified organic or biodynamic.

High-risk ingredients

All palm oil, fish, coffee, tea and cocoa has either a social or organic certification.
Environment

Environment - Increase food and resource efficiency

Waste minimisation

Marqt’s unsold meat that still meets quality standards is picked up by the food banks in Amsterdam and Haarlem. Marqt donates unsold fresh produce to local petting zoos. In 2017 Marqt initiated a project where leftover citrus peel was turned into biofuel.

Renewable energy

100% All fifteen stores and Marqt’s head office run on renewable energy (100% Dutch wind energy).

Recycled grocery bags

590,000 In 2016, Marqt introduced its fully recycled grocery bag with the intention to offer a bag for a lifetime: after purchase customers can exchange their bag for a new one if it is damaged. Since its launch, close to 600,000 bags have been sold.

Cashless payments

Purchases at Marqt can be done exclusively with pin (debit) or credit card. From a sustainability perspective, cashless stores avoid numerous secured transportation to the bank and is safer for our customers and employees.
Socio

Socio-economic - Catalyse fair and transparent business practices

Dedicated suppliers

200 Marqt’s business model is based on building long-term, open and personal relationships with its approximately 200, predominantly local suppliers, and often small-scale food producers and local growers.

Marqt Academy

64% In 2016 Marqt Academy was launched. An internal training programme that offers various modules to ensure that store personnel are well-equipped to communicate effectively and enthusiastically with customers. 442 employees of the total 689 employees participated in one or more modules in 2017.

Highest - lowest salary

5.7 Part of Marqt’s remuneration policy is that the ratio of the highest to the lowest salary will never exceed 10. In 2017, this ratio was 5.7
Socio

Socio-economic - Grow the share of sustainable consumption

Number of customers

500,000+ In 2017, an estimated 515,000 customers bought their groceries at Marqt.

Super tasters

10 To establish a direct connection between consumers and producers and to facilitate a public dialogue, Marqt introduced the ‘Super Tasters’ pilot project: customers are invited to taste products and review them via social media. As a reward for the review they receive a 25% product discount. Among the 10 products that customers could taste during 2017 were cheese, peanut butter, ketchup and granola.

Marqt Kitchen

1,250,000 Marqt Kitchen cooks fresh delicious and healthy meals, soups and salads that are offered daily at all fifteen stores. Since the start, Marqt Kitchen has cooked about 1,250,000 meals, soups and salads. In 2017 the Kitchen prepared 245,000 meals, 160,000 soups, and 28,000 salads.
“I want to tell the honest story about food.” Read the interview with Marqt’s founder Quirijn Bolle

“I want to tell the honest story about food”

Quirijn Bolle, founder of supermarket chain Marqt, wants to use his company to change the food system in a sustainable manner. The Dutch supermarket chain sells high-quality ecological products at a fair price - through its 18 outlets. Farmers and producers get their money's worth, as do the customers. For Bolle this is a sacred principle.

Marqt forces

Companies in the food industry are driven by earnings maximization for shareholders through the effect of market forces, says Bolle. “As a result, money has become the objective instead of the medium of exchange that it is intended to be. Strangely enough, in order to make a lot of money you have to make your prices as low as possible. If as a company you can claim that the peanut butter that you sell is the cheapest, then consumers will come to you to buy it, because otherwise they will feel that they are overpaying. That is why everyone wants to be the cheapest. And in order to make a profit at such low prices, the price at which you buy the product must be even lower than the price at which you are selling it. That is how suppliers are put under pressure. They in turn are then forced to put pressure on their staff, nature and animals. Such is the effect of market forces in the food industry. It is a system that we all participate in and don't really know how to extract ourselves from. Marqt is set up so that we can change our food system in such a way that it creates value in a broader sense,” says Bolle. “The aim is to provide better and healthier food, preserve nature, respect animals, all at a fair price. We refer to this as the Marqt force effect.”

A fair price

In order to show that Marqt takes this philosophy seriously and assure customers that they never pay too much, the company restricts the profit attributable to shareholders. Bolle: “If we make more profit than we need, we redistribute this among all our stakeholders. The biggest part is returned to our customers. And our strict quality and sustainability policies ensure that they never pay too little either. This means that they have no part in all the wrongs and negative impacts that are becoming increasingly obvious. The choices that a food company makes determine the price that is charged to the consumer. In the traditional system, the marketeer determines the price of a product and the supplier is told that that is it. Take it or leave it. We turn this around and restrict the profit. This guarantees that the price is fair for our customers as well as for our suppliers,” explains Bolle.

Know what you are eating

In order to be able to continue to grow, Bolle counts on the people who want to take a sensible and confident attitude to food. “There is a large group of people who want to know what they are eating. This group includes people who are too financially constrained, which gives them no choice but to get their food from low-cost supermarkets that generally sell bad food at very low prices. These people would also like to eat good products. We will therefore do more and more to make it easier for these people to make the right choices, so that they can also start to eat better food.”

Changing tack

Through Marqt, Bolle wants to tell the honest story about food and wants to give his customers something to think about. “In view of the conditions in the food sector, which imply that everything must become cheaper and cheaper, we believe that it is right to change tack. We do this by being transparent about our products. We are also opposed to the constant-cat and-mouse game between customers and supermarket companies. If a particular brand of washing powder is temporarily offered at a two-for-one price, customers feel that they are getting a bargain. But in actual fact, they are already paying the highest price, because the real price is not passed on to customers. That is not something we should want. That is not right. We make less profit by charging higher prices. Some people suggest that we are greedy, but nothing could be further from the truth. The cost price of our products is simply higher, because we source honest products from farmers and producers who get their money's worth.”

Philosophy for the future

What will Marqt's world look like in five years' time? Bolle: “My dream is that people will understand what we are doing. From suppliers to consumers. That would allow us to propagate our way of thinking, reducing the scope for all that is wrong in the food system. We want to achieve this within the means and the capacity that we have and want to do this in the right, substantive way. So it is not our intention to grow very quickly and open dozens of branches as fast as we can. We take it slow, but work towards our future at a steady pace. It would be great if in the future Marqt's philosophy is also embraced by other companies, in the Netherlands as well as abroad. One thing is certain: there is still a world to be won out there.”

Marqt’s aim is to provide better and healthier food, preserve nature, respect animals, all at a fair price.

Naty in Sweden

Naty was founded in 1994 by Marlene Sandberg to offer an alternative for disposable diapers and the enormous waste they produce. She successfully launched an environmentally friendly disposable diaper, followed by lines of complementary baby care products, feminine care products and eco clothing for babies and children.

How does Naty contribute to the environmental and socio-economic impact goals of Triodos Organic Growth Fund?

Environment

Environment - Increase food and resource efficiency

Renewable sources

53% Naty’s products use FSC certified wood pulp, are 100% chlorine free, have a corn-based film, and contain no perfume. The diapers are made from 53% renewable sources. Naty's goal is to increase the ratio of organic resources for diapers to 100% in 2020.

Biodegradable packaging

60% Naty’s packaging is 60% biodegradable and most of the products are industrially compostable (diapers, swipes, personal care and feminine care).

Outer sheet from renewable raw materials

100% The conventional plastic outer sheet in disposable diapers takes 450 years to break down. Naty has replaced this outer sheet with 100% biodegradable material made from corn starch and cellulose fibre.
Socio

Socio-economic - Catalyse fair and transparent business practices

Setting new standards

Naty is in constant dialogue with its suppliers and urges them to innovate to work towards a situation where the raw materials for its range of products are all 100% natural and renewable.

Full transparency

Naty has always been 100% clear about what it is, and what isn’t in its products.

Third party certification

Naty products are assessed by AB Vincotte, an independent third party that analyses their bio-based content. Naty also uses the following independent authorities to certify the quality and performance of its products: EcoCert, SAAA (Swedish Asthma and Allergy Association), FSC, GOTS (the Global Organic Textile Standard), and SSNC, an environmental organisation based in Sweden.
Socio

Socio-economic - Grow the share of sustainable consumption

New products

During 2017, Naty launched a full line of femcare products, including pads and liners (80+ biobased) and tampons (a minimum of 70% organic fibers). The toiletry line was extended from four to thirteen products.

Countries

36 All over the world – from Austria, Latvia and New Zealand to Saudi Arabia and China – Naty inspires and helps people to make an eco-responsible choice for themselves, their children and the planet.

Diapers

102 million In 2017, Naty sold 102 million environmentally friendly disposable diapers.

Clean potty

2,850 In 2017, Naty introduced Clean Potty, the eco-friendly potty with disposable, biodegradable inserts. The potty is made out of 95% renewable material (certified by Vincotte).

Ambassadors

40,000 Customers are invited to become a Naty ambassador to stay informed about latest product developments and to have their voice heard. 40,000 customers around the globe have already registered as an ambassador.

How Naty radically changes the rules of the diaper market. An eco player setting the example

Naty is an innovative Swedish company that produces eco-friendly diapers and toiletry products. Marlene Sandberg, Founder and CEO of this industry frontrunner, discusses how she turned an idea into a multinational success, eco-conscious consumers and why she’s looking forward to having Triodos by her side.

An idea is born

Naty was founded in 1994 by Marlene Sandberg and offers biodegradable and environmentally friendly disposable diapers. The idea was conceived when she was pregnant with her second child and was reading a newspaper article about the high levels of waste that conventional diapers produce. Today’s leading diapers consist mainly of oil-based plastic materials and super absorbents that are non-renewable and non-compostable. “I thought to myself, this is crazy. Surely there must be some kind of solution. Someone needs to do something.”

Expanding ecological alternatives

Since that idea more than 22 years ago, Naty has grown into a professional FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) company with a current turnover of EUR 26 million from sales in 40 countries on four continents. Its products use FSC certified wood pulp, are 100% chlorine free, and contain no perfume. Naty’s diapers are already 51% renewable, and Marlene hopes to launch the next generation diaper (70% renewable) in 2017. The Naty product range has also expanded to include complementary baby care products, feminine care products and even eco-clothing for babies and children.

Nurturing conscious consumers

Naty enjoys strong authentic brand recognition and popularity amongst eco-conscious consumers. Marlene knows her “incredibly loyal” customers: “They investigate and navigate information about which products to buy. They don’t want their babies to be in contact with carcinogenic and hormone affecting chemicals. I know what information they’re looking for. We’ve always been clear about what is, and what isn’t in our products. Our customers want an alternative, and they look for superior quality and value. We offer this.” Naty products are also assessed by AB Vincotte, an independent third party that analyses their bio-based content. “Third party certification is relatively new for us. I think it is really important because consumers don’t really trust supplier statements. I look for certification when I buy my organic food, why would it be any different for diapers?”, says Marlene.

Growing pains

Despite the enormous success of Naty, the journey getting there hasn’t always been easy. Marlene and her team have faced tough challenges. In addition to the cash flow difficulties that many start ups face, in 2008 with the global financial crisis, a change in UK currency exchange rates saw Naty lose EUR 2.4 million in profit overnight. It went from being highly profitable to carrying a loss. “It was really tough, and I questioned whether to keep going. But we kept going. It’s important for an entrepreneur to be consistent and to never give up. You need to stay focused, and be patient.”

Slow to grow industry

This attitude, focus, and patience have been critical to Naty’s success, which remains a relatively smaller player in an extremely large industry. According to Marlene, it will have to wait for the bigger players to demand more eco-friendly materials so that the manufacturing factories will invest in the technology required. She says, “Unfortunately the market leaders have reduced the amount of pulp in their absorbing material and replaced it with super absorbents. But this increases the proportion of chemicals they use. Instead of becoming more sustainable, they’re moving in the opposite direction.”When asked about how Naty can compete with the larger competitors claim to have green products, Marlene talked about their expensive life cycle assessments (LCAs) saying, “It’s an easy way for them to claim they’re green, but they don’t go the whole way. They still use 100% oil-based materials in their products. Ours are made up of cornstarch and other natural ingredients wherever possible. Ours break down better so their end of life creates less impact on the environment.”

Partnering with Triodos Organic Growth Fund

Naty is one of the newest investments for Triodos Organic Growth Fund and both the fund and Naty are excited about their shared mission to bring sustainable consumption to the forefront. Marlene: “It was a combination of the right timing and the right investor. We wanted to consolidate our ownership structure. We felt it was better to have one large investor that’s committed for the long-term. We’ve been approached by many investors – banks, private investors – and always said no because we didn’t want to sell. Actually, what I like about Triodos is that it only invests in sustainable businesses, especially those committed to the environment and green technology. We share that mission, and that’s important. I was also motivated by the opportunity to meet and mix with the other companies that Triodos Organic Growth Fund invests in. I really look forward to the conference Triodos Organic Growth Fund will organise for privately owned mission-driven businesses in the organic food and sustainable consumer goods sectors in its portfolio. I look forward to meeting them and exchanging information. We can all learn from each other.”

Plans for continuing Naty’s success

Naty has a very strong online presence and distribution partners throughout the world, but to date the company’s marketing budget has been zero. Customers find them via word-of-mouth, internet searches and online customer reviews. Of future plans Marlene says, “We’re really excited that next year we will open our web shop and will have a marketing budget to promote it. We plan to provide lots of information about our products, and I’m really looking forward to it. It will be very interesting to see what effect it will have.” And for the longer term? “I can’t imagine that I will ever retire”, said Marlene. “I will continue because I want to increase the value of Naty. My goal is to have a turnover of about EUR 50 million within three to five years, to increase our product range and to continue to be a frontrunner by constantly looking for ways to increase the level of sustainability in our products.”

Aarstiderne in Denmark

Aarstiderne is a truly inspiring frontrunner in the European organic food sector with the mission to reconnect the consumer to the organic farmer. Through its organic meal box offer, it has evolved into a leading player in the market for healthy, delicious and convenient online food solutions.

How does Aarstiderne contribute to the environmental and socio-economic impact goals of Triodos Organic Growth Fund?

Environment

Environment - Preserve soil fertility and biodiversity

Organic offering

92% The vegetables, fruits and meat in Aarstiderne’s meal box offering are 100% organic. Fish (caught in the wild) and a number of non-food items are not certified organic.

Seasonal offering

100% Aarstiderne’s offering is in tune with nature and the seasons. The weekly meal boxes contain seasonal ingredients together with recipes to enhance the clients’ culinary experiences.

Test growing of new vegetables

Outdoor-grown cucumbers, several varieties of Asian leaf cabbages, such as gai choy and kailaan, new varieties of small pumpkins and the Latvian soup pea were among new vegetables that Aarstiderne tested in 2017.

Protein2Food

During 2017, Aarstiderne tested a number of varieties of quinoa, amaranth and legumes in order to increase the number of plant-based protein sources in Europe. This fits their ambition to have less meat and more plant-based protein in their product offering.

Food for health

Aarstiderne tested cabbages and other coarse vegetables to find the varieties that can provide diabetes-2-patients with a higher intake of metabolites, which lowers the need for medicine.
Environment

Environment - Increase food and resource efficiency

Supply-driven

Aarstiderne’s offering is supply-driven: via an online tool suppliers upload the amount and quality of their produce every Monday. The tool gives Aarstiderne a weekly overview of the available products, which serves as an inspiration for the composition of their meal boxes.

Waste minimisation

Aarstiderne's meal boxes contain well-balanced and rationed portions, resulting in zero to very limited waste among consumers. The fresh fruits and vegetables that don't end up in the meal boxes are sold at Aarstiderne's farm shop in Humlebæk.

Packaging

Aarstiderne constantly works to minimise the use of packaging and reusing boxes. For example, the Styrofoam boxes are used 4.2 times each and the medium wooden boxes 4.5 times each.
Socio

Socio-economic - Catalyse fair and transparant business practices

Number of employees

432 Aarstiderne offers fair pay and development opportunities for its 432 employees. All newly hired co-workers go through a carefully planned introduction programme to get to know Aarstiderne’s culture and the way of working together.

Dedicated suppliers

300 Aarstiderne has fair and open relations with its approximately 300 suppliers. Many of them have delivered their products to Aarstiderne since the early years.
Socio

Socio-economic - Grow the share of sustainable consumption

Number of households

60,000+ Aarstiderne weekly delivers meal boxes to 60,000+ Danish households.

Meals served

19 million During 2017, Aarstiderne delivered 2,180,106 meal boxes representing approximately 19 million healthy and delicious meals.

Solo meal box served

In 2017, Aarstiderne launched a meal box for a household of one. A unique proposition as most mealbox offerings typically are for two persons or more. At year-end 2017, 14% of the weekly meal boxes were delivered to a household of one.

Vegan and vegetarian

17% An increasing number of Aarstiderne’s customers choose the vegan and vegetarian option in the meal box offering. In 2017, this percentage increased from 11% to 17%.

Video recipes

400 In 2017, Aarstiderne shot more than 400 video recipes for its meal boxes, thereby increasing customers’ knowledge of the ingredients and how to prepare their meals. Aarstiderne’s chefs write recipes equivalent to a cook book per week.

Annual harvest day and coutnry kitchen visitors

17,000 Aarstiderne welcomed 17,000 visitors at its annual harvest day, with a farmers’ market, cooking workshops and a wide variety of activities for children. In addition, 15,260 people enjoyed a meal at one of Aarstiderne’s country kitchens, which were held in different regions and locations throughout 2017.

School Gardens - engaging with children

6,500 Aarstiderne offers children a rich outdoor learning environment through its School Gardens project. As a result, 6,500 children in Denmark enjoy working in an organic vegetable garden and learn how to cook with the fresh harvest straight from the field.

Social media platforms

100,000 Via Facebook (80,000 followers), Instagram (32,000 followers), mailing list (100,000 subscribers), the customer app (35,000 users) and podcasts (45,000 downloads) Aarstiderne shares information about their organic products and origins, as well as background information about their suppliers, thereby inspiring people to embrace a healthy lifestyle.

DO-IT in the Netherlands

DO-IT was founded in 1991 by Poppe Braam, driven by a strong commitment to stimulate organic farming and build up sustainable trade relations with farmers in developing countries and buyers in Europe. The company works with suppliers in Asia, Africa and Latin America, from which it buys a wide range of product, from nuts, quinoa, dried fruit and sugar to rice and olive oil.

How does DO-IT contribute to the environmental and socio-economic impact goals of Triodos Organic Growth Fund?

Environment

Environment - Preserve soil fertility and biodiversity

Certified organic

100% All products imported and distributed by DO-IT are 100% certified organic.

Preservation of natural resources

DO-IT supports environmental programmes. Examples include restoration of degraded areas and reduction of cane burning in Brazil, tree and flower planting in China, and erosion prevention in Thailand. And closer to home: DO-IT has two beehives at its own premises.
Environment

Environment - Increase food and resource efficiency

Bio-based packaging

2.5 million DO-IT aims to have all its packaging 100% bio-based and compostable, including paper, plastics, ink, glue and labels. In 2016, this was already the case for DO-IT’s 2.5 million retail packages. Among the items that are still oil-based is the stretch wrapping used for bulk goods. DO-IT is in active dialogue with the industry to have an environmentally-friendly alternative developed.

Inland water transport

60% DO-IT promotes water transport - both overseas and inland. In 2017, approximately 60% of the 1,000 containers that entered the Rotterdam harbour were transported over water to Nijmegen in the east of The Netherlands, and then brought to the DO-IT premises by truck.
Socio

Socio-economic - Catalyse fair and transparent business practices

Organic farmers

5,000 At source, DO-IT operates with a worldwide network of 180 suppliers from 20 countries. The 30 cooperatives DO-IT works with represent approximately 5,000 small-scale farmers who receive fair payment for their produce. DO-IT visits the cooperatives and farmers once or twice a year.

Supplier Partner Code of Conduct

DO-IT’s suppliers are asked to sign the Supplier Code of Conduct that represents the values and core beliefs that are important to DO-IT. Their goal is to gain a better understanding of the supply chain, including the farmer base, and create closer working relationships.

Traceability

100% Organic certification is the basis of DO-IT’s operations. This also ensures a 100% traceability of all products.

Fair Trade IBD

11% DO-IT works with Fair Trade IBD certification for their products from Brazil, China, Thailand and India, representing 11% of goods sold. Fair Trade IBD sets social and environmental criteria for all links in the chain from farmer to producer. In addition, DO-IT finances demand-driven projects that focus on farmers’ needs, for example sanitation, school education, solar panels and drinking water.
Socio

Socio-economic - Grow the share of sustainable consumption

Bio Academy

DO-IT is co-founder of the Bio Academy, initiated in 2016 and founded in 2017. This unique platform facilitates the exchange of knowledge and expertise in the field of organic agriculture and food in the Netherlands: from farmers, processors and retailers to consumers.

Food dialogues

6 In 2017, DO-IT sponsored, for the fifth time, a series of six dialogues about the future of agriculture and food from a global perspective. The aim of these dialogues, titled ‘It’s the Food, my friend’, is to come to a broad, long-year vision on food that contributes to an economically, socially and ecologically sustainable food and agriculture sector. Each session was well-attended with approximately 300 people from different backgrounds: farmers, students, bankers, traders, consultants and government representatives.

Active membership

Poppe Braam, director and founder of DO-IT, is an active board member in BioNederland (association of organic producers and traders) and Stichting EKO-Keurmerk (most well-known and oldest organic quality label for organic food in the Netherlands).

DO-IT: a world player in the organic food market

Starting your own company out of idealism and making the movement bigger. This is what Poppe Braam did. He is the founder and managing director of DO-IT, a Dutch company that imports and exports organic food products.

Poppe Braam can definitely be described as a pioneer in eating organically and sustainably grown food. His work takes him all over the world. Over 60% of the products that DO-IT it imports are produced outside Europe. This is why he frequently visits agriculture projects in Asia, Africa and Latin America. "Basmati rice from India, jasmine rice from Thailand and coconut milk from Sri Lanka. These are some of the organic products that we import from Asia."

The foundations for setting up an organic food company were laid as early as the 1960s and '70s, a period during which upscaling in agriculture started to take off. "In the 1960s my parents had a small farm with 15 cows, which at that time still got to keep their horns. Agriculture is therefore close to my heart." Braam believes that the increasingly large scale of farms has had all sorts of negative effects. "I saw that animals were being restricted. Their freedom of movement and well-being declined, humans started to rule over animals more than ever before and started to do as they saw fit."

Social critic

That was at odds with his view. "I feel that like humans, animals are also entitled to happiness. We may use them, but must never mistreat them," is his belief. Even as a student, Braam was part of a progressive, socially-critical undercurrent that put organic food on the map. During the production of organic food, the environment and animal welfare are taken into consideration whenever possible. For instance, animals have more space for living and moving about than on regular farms. Genetic engineering and chemical pesticides and herbicides are also not accepted. "The circular concept is at its core. Crops and animals do not suffer negative effects from our consumer behaviour," explains Braam. As an example he mentions the number of animals that are kept on farms. These must be in proportion to the area of land. The farmer must be able to use their manure on his own land or on the land of other farmers in the region, thus avoiding a manure surplus.

Pioneering

Based on his ideals, Braam started a chicken farm with 600 organic chickens. His activities started to expand during the 1980s. For instance, he was involved in establishing the SKAL institute, which monitors compliance with the regulations for organic farming. Braam also opened a shop and a distribution centre and owned a packaging company. "That entrepreneurship just grew and grew." In 1990 Braam decided to take a different course. "Organic food started as a movement, but has also become a business. Growing numbers of consumers think about the origin of their food. The demand for organic food has been on the rise for many years," says Braam. He sold his companies and set up DO-IT, the acronym for Dutch Organic International Trade. "But of course it also means: do it. Make the right choice for the planet. I hope that as many people as possible will realise that their current actions have an impact on how the world will look in the future."

Import and export

DO-IT imports and exports organic food products, such as rice, grain, sugar, coconut milk and coconut oil. "In fact, virtually all products, except coffee, tea and spices," summarises Braam. He started DO-IT on a modest scale. "Initially we only traded in all sorts of organically grown products that were produced in the Benelux, but demand just grew and grew. We received questions such as: do you also have olive oil or spaghetti from Italy? That is how the company kept expanding. At the moment, 60% of the products that we import are sourced outside Europe."
DO-IT has mainly set up its own agricultural projects, with small local farmers and cooperatives. Their products are shipped, stored in The Netherlands and subsequently exported again to dozens of countries, mainly in Europe.

Huge expansion

More and more consumers choose to eat organic food. "Around 5% of the Dutch population eats organic food. This is of course still a relatively small market, but compared to 1990, when that percentage was around 2%, we have obviously seen a huge expansion. We also benefit from this development." DO-IT's staff has grown to 60 employees and the company now realises annual sales of 70 million euros. "Only during the crisis of 2008-2011 did business remain more or less stable or registered a small gain at the most. Since 2012 we have been growing at a rate of around 10% per year," says Braam.

Sustainable ambitions

Braam also intends to invest in making his real estate more sustainable. He wants to equip DO-IT's premises with solar panels and a heat and cold storage system. "Our plan is to make our building energy-neutral in 2018. That fits in well with the principles of our company," says Braam. Another thorny issue is transport costs. "We also try to limit road transport. For instance, many of our containers are transported by ship to Nijmegen. From Nijmegen, they are then taken by road to our facility in Barneveld.”

He expects the company to expand further in the years ahead. "I did not consciously choose to eat organically; it was something I did automatically. But more and more consumers are starting to think about this issue. Is their food overly processed? Where has their food been grown? Increasing numbers of people are curious about that relationship." He sees this as pure gain. "Not only in an economic sense, but especially for people, planet and animals. After all, they are all intertwined and we must do justice to that. The circular concept of eating organically makes that possible."

Naturfrisk in Denmark

Naturfrisk’s mission is to craft the purest tasteful high quality organic soft drinks, beers and distilled spirits. It was founded in 1996 by father and son Niels and Nicolai Rømer, when they acquired and restarted activities at the former Ørbæk Brewery. In 2017, the Nyborg distillery opened, which produces organic whisky, rum and gin.

How does Naturfrisk contribute to the environmental and socio-economic impact goals of Triodos Organic Growth Fund?

Environment

Environment - Preserve soil fertility and biodiversity

Organic offering

100% The concept behind Naturfrisk is that all products must be natural, pure and of the highest quality. This means that there is no added preservatives, artificial colors and flavors. All ingredients are 100% organic.
Environment

Environment - Increase food and resource efficiency

Renewable energy

100% All the energy power that Naturfrisk needs comes from Danish wind power farms. In addition, the Ørbæk Brewery has a heat exchanger, which means that the hot water is collected in a tank and is used for a next brew, while the Nyborg distillery has solar panels and runs its boilers on biogas.

Bi-products for biogas

The bi-products of the distillery production, the draff (from brewing) and the heads (from distilling), go to a nearby biogas facility, which partly comes back as energy for the distillery boilers.

Waste for cattle

200

The waste of the brewery – spent grain - is used to feed 200 cows at a nearby farm.

Socio

Socio-economic - Catalyse fair and transparent business practices

Local sourcing, production and distribution

In terms of procurement of services such as raw materials and food, Naturfrisk goes by the philosophy: "Always organic. Local is available". Most of the people who helped build the distillery, and who still service it, are local craftsmen and service companies. Naturfrisk locally sources a part of the fruit for the juice production from organic farms on Funen, Denmark’s third largest island, where Naturfrisk is situated. Naturfrisk supplies many local restaurants and bars on Funen and offers local associations, clubs and volunteer NGOs a place for getting together at the Nyborg Distillery, often at little or no cost as they play a vital role to the community.

Number of employees

27 Naturfrisk offers fair pay and development opportunities for its 27 employees.
Socio

Socio-economic - Grow the share of sustainable consumption

Organic restaurant with a gold medal

The Nyborg distillery, opened in June 2017, also has an organic restaurant that uses over 90% organic produce and much of it is from local suppliers. The restaurant was awarded a gold medal by the Danish food authorities.

Guided tours

20,000

The market for organic distilled spirits is still very new and small. To help people get acquainted with this niche in the organic market, Naturfrisk offers guided tours at the Nyborg distillery, including tasting. In 2017, an estimated 20,000 people took part in a tour.

Portfolio results

The organic food and sustainable consumer sector is very diverse: from organic food and beverages to personal care, textiles and household items. This diversity is also reflected in the portfolio of Triodos Organic Growth Fund. Portfolio companies vary from a producer of organic soft drinks, beers and distilled liquor to a market leader in environmentally friendly hygiene products for babies and women. Furthermore, the portfolio companies are active in different parts of the value chain, from a product developer with a business-to-business approach to a retailer with a business-to-consumer approach. Due to this diversity of companies, reporting on impact at an aggregated fund level is challenging and therefore limited to a small range of indicators reflecting the entire fund portfolio. Reporting mainly takes place at company level.

Total turnover

EUR 260 million The total turnover generated by the portfolio companies amounts to EUR 260 million. This is an indicator for the access that consumers have to sustainable consumer goods.

Cost of goods sold

EUR 184 million The costs of goods sold generated by the portfolio companies amounts to EUR 184 million. This amount reflects the portfolio companies’ impact on global value chains.

Green economy jobs

1,260 The number of people directly employed by the portfolio companies, reflecting the jobs created in the sustainable consumption and production sector.

Mission-aligned long-term capital

EUR 48,9 million The net assets of Triodos Organic Growth Fund as per the end of 2017, of which 75.3% has been invested in European frontrunners in the sectors of organic food and sustainable consumer products.

Organic Growth Days

The first Organic Growth Days took place in November 2017. The fund invited senior management of all portfolio companies to come to Amsterdam to meet, learn from and inspire each other. The two-day event was an excellent and inspiring starting point to build a cooperating platform for sustainable consumer companies in Europe.

About us

Our vision on impact and impact measurement

As an investor for impact we understand finance to be transformational, and define it as directing money so that it benefits people and the environment over the long term.

Triodos Organic Growth Fund intends to play a pivotal role in the much-needed transition towards sustainable consumption and production. It provides long-term mission-aligned private capital to leading European organic food and sustainable consumer businesses that have a clear commitment to increasing consumer awareness and the market share of sustainable consumer products.

We realise that our role and efforts in this complex web of change can only to a limited extent be captured in quantitative metrics and indicators. We believe that investing for impact moves beyond providing capital and requires a strong intention and a holistic and long-term approach. This means we build long-term relations with our portfolio companies and other stakeholders and, beyond our role as a capital provider, we intend to play a role as an enabler and an inspirer. With this approach Triodos differentiates itself from others in the capital-providing space.

To explain our vision and the extent to which we’re delivering on it, we share stories to illustrate the whole picture. These stories provide the essential context and background for our activities. They illustrate our ‘theory of change’. They are not ‘cherry-picked’ to highlight work that is atypical of our wider efforts.

The quantitative indicators are a part of the whole story. This means that indicators such as ‘annual turnover’, ‘costs of goods sold’ and ‘percentage organic offering’, are not a goal in itself; they are pieces of information that are part of the broader picture. All together, they give a sense of the impact we achieve through the capital that we have invested.











For that reason, we neither set specific goals for indicators nor do we compare them to last year figures, simply because a higher number doesn’t necessarily mean more impact. For instance, financing a relatively small player in the organic food sector which will drive innovative and groundbreaking approaches to increase market share could mean more impact than financing a larger company in a mature market.

This publication aims to assess and communicate the impact of the Triodos Organic Growth Fund investments in a transparent and meaningful way. For the reader’s convenience we aim to avoid academic terminology, such as impact, outcomes, outputs, and so on.

About Triodos Investment Management

Triodos Organic Growth Fund is managed by Triodos Investment Management. Triodos Investment Management, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Triodos Bank, is a globally recognised leader in impact investing and connects a broad range of investors who want to make their money work for positive change with innovative entrepreneurs and sustainable businesses doing just that.

About Triodos Bank

Triodos Bank is one of the world’s leading sustainable banks. Established in 1980, it has pioneered a groundbreaking, commercially successful approach to money that values people, the environment and culture, as well as profit.

Triodos Organic Growth Fund impact framework

Impact objectives Arrow right

Environment

  • Preserve soil fertility and biodiversity and promote animal welfare
  • Increase food and resource efficiency

Socio-economic

  • Promote fair and transparent business practices
  • Grow the share of sustainable consumption

Sector development

  • Catalyse growth of the sector for sustainable consumption and production
  • Demonstrate and promote viability of long-term mission-aligned private equity

Activities Arrow right

Providing capital

Unlocking long-term private capital to leading European organic food and sustainable consumer businesses to increase the market share of sustainable consumer products

Enabling portfolio companies

  • Building meaningful and long-term relationships, enabling portfolio companies to realise their ambitions
  • Facilitating knowledge exchange
  • Giving access to our extensive network

Inspiring sector

  • Showcasing exemplary entrepreneurs in their journey for sustainability, growth and succession
  • Advocating an evergreen private equity approach

Indicators

Results per company*

  • % of organic offering
  • Use of renewable energy sources
  • Number of households reached
  • % of biodegradable packaging
  • Interviews and case studies

Portfolio results

  • Total turnover of portfolio companies
    reflecting consumers’ access to sustainable products
  • Cost of goods sold
    reflecting portfolio companies’ impact on global value chains
  • Number of jobs
    reflecting portfolio companies’ contribution to 'green economy' jobs
  • Invested capital by Triodos Organic Growth Fund

* Indicators differ per portfolio company

New investments

Our additions to the portfolio in 2016

Asian Credit Fund, Kazakhstan

Asian Credit Fund (ACF) in Kazakhstan focuses on rural households and in particular women who earn income from small-scale agricultural activities. ACF is among the first microfinance institutions in the country to have launched energy efficiency loans and provides financing for housing improvements. In addition, ACF is exploring opportunities to finance renewable energy products in parts of the country, for example the installation of solar panels.

In the coming years, the institution will continue to deepen its outreach targeting small households in rural areas. Triodos Sustainable Finance Foundation has provided a loan to ACF to realise this ambition.

Key indicators as of 31 December 2016:

number of loan clients 18,620
percentage female clients 87%
percentage rural clients 93%
average loan amount EUR 442
number of savings clients n.a.

Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund – global (equity)

Triodos Fair Share Fund and Triodos Microfinance Fund have invested in the Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund (AFIF), the world’s first global fintech fund that aims to catalyse fintech innovations that can radically improve the quality and availability of financial services for the underserved. Alternative credit, payments, small and medium enterprise (SME) finance, and insurtech are among the solutions the fund aims to accelerate. AFIF focuses on emerging markets in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and Asia (with a particular emphasis on India and Southeast Asia) that have demonstrated the greatest potential for inclusive fintech.

AFIF is a very innovative addition to our inclusive finance portfolio and an exciting opportunity to strengthen our connection with the fintech space, which can trigger direct follow-on investments for our funds in the future.

Aavishkaar Venture Management Services Group in India (new equity)

Aavishkaar Venture Management Services Group (Avishkaar) is one of the pioneers in the impact investing space in India, channelling capital towards sustainable and scalable solutions that enhance the livelihoods of the low-income market segment. With over 10 years of experience, the company has supported social businesses across multiple sectors, such as financial inclusion, technology, agriculture, health, and education and expanded its investment operation into neighbouring countries that face similar social challenges, such as Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.

Triodos Microfinance Fund and Triodos Fair Share Fund are a shareholder in Avishkaar. This allows us to work directly with an entrepreneurial group that continuously strive to solving social and financial inclusion problems through many innovative means, thereby broadening our impact scope.

Alliance Group Leasing in Georgia

Alliance Group Leasing (AGL) in Georgia aims to improve the country’s business environment and supports micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) by means of providing access to proper productive equipment through financial and operational lease. From the inception AGL has served more than 4,000 clients.

It's innovative approach and plans to grow the share in green financing (for example e-bikes) and agriculture makes it a good fit with Triodos Sustainable Finance Foundation. With its loan to AGL, Triodos Sustainable Finance Foundation supports MSMEs in Georgia and – as AGL’s first international investor – it helps AGL to improve its investment profile for potential funding from other international investors.

Key indicators as of 31 December 2016:

number of loan clients 127
percentage female clients 19%
percentage rural clients 5%
average loan amount EUR 18,632
number of savings clients -

Belarusky Narodny Bank in Belarus (new debt)

Belarusky Narodny Bank (BNB) is one of the oldest private banks in Belarus, primarily serving small and medium-sized enterprises and private individuals. It has more than 50,000 clients across its 15 service centres and 24 ATMs that cover most regions in the country. Through the assistance of its the shareholders, BNB developed environmental and social risk management system (ESMS) for its credit process using international best standards. The bank has a green credit product for environmentally-friendly investment and modernisation of machinery, equipment, and trucks for clients in the transportation industry.

Since adopting SME-focused strategy in 2009, the bank has since grew its SME portfolio and in 2014 it launched ‘Smart Business’ program that provides financial and non-financial supports to Belarussian SMEs.

Triodos Microfinance Fund and Triodos Fair Share Fund have provided a loan to BNB to realise its growth ambitions.

Capital Bank in Panama (new debt)

Capital Bank is the initiative of a young successful Panamanian lawyer and entrepreneur Moisés Cohen with the aim to address the unmet demand for financial services and products of the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in his country. Since its inception in 2007, Capital Bank has grown into a nationwide network of five branches, 26 ATMs and 100+ points of non-banking correspondents serving over 10,000 entrepreneurs in the SME and retail segments. In addition to regular lending products, Capital Bank offers a wide range of non-lending services to SMEs that include insurance, factoring and leasing.

Capital Bank’s full commitment and dedication to this sector is also illustrated by the training programmes and workshops that they offer via their subsidiary Capital Entrepreneural. Entrepreneurs are trained on important skills and knowledge, including accountancy, tax policies, negotiation skills, business innovation and governance.

Triodos Microfinance Fund and Triodos Fair Share Fund have provided a loan to Capital Bank to realise its growth ambitions. This loan fits the Triodos funds' strategy to stimulate the SME sector in emerging and developing countries and emerging economies.

Key indicators as of 31 December 2016:

number of loan clients 7,270
percentage female clients 40%
percentage rural clients 0%
average loan amount EUR 128,407
number of savings clients 4,660

CMAC Sullana in Peru (new debt)

CMAC Sullana was founded by the Sullana Municapility in the north of Peru with the aim to provide financial support and protection for micro entrepreneneurs, families, small-scale farmers and children by means of credit products, savings and insurance services.

CMAC Sullana characterizes itself by its forefront position in technological innovation as a main driver to increase its outreach. This strategic focus has allowed CMAC Sullana to be the first Caja providing mobile banking services via their own app as well as their own debit cards.

The institution is the first channel of MiVivienda (My house) fund, a government fund dedicated to catalyse funding for housing for low and middle-classes population through financial institutions.

Triodos Microfinance Fund and Triodos Fair Share Fund have provided a loan to CMAC Sullana to realise its further growth ambitions.

Key indicators as of 31 December 2016:

number of loan clients 247,525
percentage female clients 51%
percentage rural clients 3%
average loan amount EUR 2,904
number of savings clients -

Banco Continental in Paraguay (new debt)

Established in 1979, Banco Continental is currently the largest SME bank for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Paraguay. The bank plays an important role in the country’s economy by providing finance to the primary economic sectors that are also the main source of employment and entrepreneurs, namely agriculture and cattle ranching, and by pro-actively setting a strict environmental and social standards to promote the adoption of sustainable and responsible business practices

Banco Continental is one of the founders of Mesa de Finanzas Sostenibles (Roundtable for Sustainable Finance) that aims to spur a sustainable financial sector in Paraguay.

Triodos Fair Share Fund and Triodos Microfinane have provided a loan to Banco Continental.

Desyfin in Costa Rica (new debt)

Financiera Desyfin. (Desyfin) is a financial institution based in San José, Costa Rica, which primarily focuses on the small-medium enterprise (SME) sector, offering a wide range of products and services to clients. Their vision is to become the country’s leading financial institution specialised in SMEs focused on renewable energy and food and agriculture among others, emphasising long-term relationships with clients as well as social and environmental responsibility.

Costa Rica is a front-runner in renewable energy and Desyfin finances many SMEs that are involved in renewable energy. The company operates through a head office in San José with six branches in the northwest and southeast part of the country.

Triodos Microfinance Fund and Triodos Fair Share Fund have provided a subordinated loan to Desyfin to strengthen the institution’s capital and to provide long-term support for the realisation of its strategic plans as a player in the SME sector.

Key indicators as of 31 December 2016

number of loan clients 4,006
percentage female clients 31%
percentage rural clients 0%
average loan amount EUR 57,835
number of savings clients 3,301

Fundación Diaconía in Bolivia (new debt)

Fundación Diaconíaconía) is a non-governmental organisation in Bolivia. Based in El Alto, Diaconia’s core focus is to provide access to finance in the country’s most rural and poorest areas, such as El Alto, Oruro and Potosi. It also places an emphasis on protecting the environment and looking into ways to develop products that help clients better adapt to climate change while educating them in the process.

Triodos Microfinance Fund and Triodos Fair Share Fund have provided a loan in local currency to Diaconía to support its ambition to increase its outreach.

Key indicators as of 31 December 2016:

number of loan clients 65,839
percentage female clients 52%
percentage rural clients 22%
average loan amount EUR 1,786
number of savings clients -

IntelleGrow in India (new equity)

Founded from the IntelleCap group in 2010, IntelleGrow provides debt financing to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across India and in the following sectors: agricultural supply chain, clean energy, education, financial inclusion, healthcare, and water and sanitation.

IntelleGrow’s loan portfolio has positively impacted over one million lives through the reduction of greenhouse gases, production of clean energy, and access to education (to name a few).

Triodos Microfinance Fund and Triodos Fair Share Fund hold an equity stake in IntelleGrow and contribute to the institution's strategy and further growth.

Key indicators as of 31 December 2016:

number of loan clients 107
percentage female clients 0%
percentage rural clients 0%
average loan amount EUR 326,029
number of savings clients -

Banco Internacional in Ecuador (new debt)

Banco Internacional is the fifth largest bank in Ecuador with a focus on small and medium enterprises (SMEs). It was established in 1973 and has evolved into a full-service commercial bank. It has 87 branches in 20 proinces and reaches 206,789 active borrowers, and 385,158 savers.

Banco Internacional is seen as an innovative bank and is leading the way in climate smart projects. The loan provided by Triodos Microfinance Fund and Triodos Fair Share Fund will aid in funding the growth of the bank’s climate-smart projects or projects created to mitigate the emissions of greenhouse gases, including: energy efficiency, renewable energy, water efficiency, and cleaner production projects.

Kashf Foundation in Pakistan (new debt)

Kashf Foundation (Kashf) is a microfinance institution in Pakistan with a strong emphasis on female empowerment. Its clients are only women and half of its staff is female which is quite remarkable in a country like Pakistan. Kashf focuses on enhancing the role that women can play in improving the economic status of their families by building their entrepreneurship skills through access to business loans. In addition to microfinance activities, Kashf is one of the largest providers of health and life insurances (1.7 million clients) and provides a number of trainings on financial literacy, business development and gender roles/justice to its clients.

In 2016 Kashf was awarded the European Microfinance Award with the theme being ’Microfinance and Access to Education’. Kashf’s programme involves loans to low-cost private schools, along with pedagogical training for teachers to improve teaching practices and specialised school management courses for school owners to improve the school infrastructure and their financial and operational administration. Since 2014, Kashf has worked with approximately 1,000 schools, serving over 150,000 students.

Triodos Microfinance Fund and Triodos Fair Share Fund are the first international lenders to Kashf Foundation.

Key indicators as of 31 December 2016:

number of loan clients 237,573
percentage female clients 100%
percentage rural clients 28%
average loan amount EUR 227
number of savings clients -

NeoGrowth in India (new debt)

NeoGrowth Credit is a credit-only non-bank financial corporation in India that provides short- NeoGrowth is an innovative niche player in the Indian financial sector. The company solely focuses on micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME), specifically merchants and retailers. The MSME sector plays an important role in the growth of the economy. NeoGrowth uses a so-called Merchant Cash Advance (MCA) model to target these enterprises. In brief: it provides credit to retail merchants in exchange for an agreed upon percentage of future credit card and/or debit card sales. Merchants repay their loan on a daily basis depending on the turnover of their credit/debit card sales.

NeoGrowth plays a vital role for their clients as most of them have no or limited alternatives to access credit and thus expand their businesses.

Triodos Microfinance Fund and Triodos Fair Share Fund have provided a loan to NeoGrowth to further realise its growth ambitions. The loan solidifies the funds’ SME strategy in emerging markets.

Key indicators as of 31 December 2016:

number of loan clients 3,595
percentage female clients 16%
percentage rural clients 0%
average loan amount EUR 16,999
number of savings clients -

OnePunuhan in The Philipinnes (new debt)

MicroVentures Philippines Financing Company’s (OnePuhunan) long-term mission is to foster the economic progress of small-scale entrepreneurs in the Philippines through the delivery of specialised financial services in a fair, transparent, efficient, and sustainable manner. OnePuhunan aims to provide the client with products that are easy to understand, aims to anticipate the client needs and hold transparency in high regard.

The Philippines has been a leader in promoting and creating an enabling environment for financial inclusion, but there is still much work to be done as only 28% of adult Filipinos have a bank account. With funding from Triodos Sustainable Finance Foundation, OnePuhunan aims to extend its lending practices and improve its 'green' products and create a more comprehensive environmental policy.

Key indicators as of 31 December 2016:

number of loan clients 135,508
percentage female clients 100%
percentage rural clients 34%
average loan amount n.a.
number of savings clients -

Shubham Housing Development Finance Company in India (new debt)

Shubham Housing Development Finance Company Private Limited (Shubham) is a housing finance company, established in 2010. The company provides retail home loans to low income borrowers for a period of up to 15 years. Its primary products are mortgages, home-improvement loans and loans against property. Shubham focuses on rural, self-employed or micro entrepreneur customers who are moving away from being tenants to becoming owners. This also opens the door for further financial inclusion, as banks only provide credit to people with their own property. Moreover, the rental money that clients save now goes towards the equity of their home, thus building real wealth which can be used for funding retirement.

Shubham marks an important milestone for Triodos Microfinance Fund and Triodos Fair Share Fund as the funds enter the affordable housing finance space. It fits with the funds’ strategy, both in regards to inclusive finance and increased focus on SMEs, especially in India.

Key indicators as of 31 December 2016:

number of loan clients 14,849
percentage female clients 9%
percentage rural clients 46%
average loan amount EUR 7,334
number of savings clients -

Sonata Finance in India (new equity)

With an ambitious social mission towards financial inclusion, Sonata Finance is a credit-only microfinance institution focusing on the underserved northern states of India. The institution provides loans to over 700,000 clients, of which 100% are women and 80% earn below USD 1.25 per day.

Triodos Fair Share Fund and Triodos Microfinance Fund hold an equity stake in Sonata, thereby sharing sustainable banking knowledge and expertise and participating in Sonata’s governance and strategic development.

Key indicators as of 31 December 2016:

number of loan clients 702,737
percentage female clients 100%
percentage rural clients 67%
average loan amount EUR 225
number of savings clients -

Urmatt in Thailand

Urmatt Limited was founded in 1999 by Arvind Narula, a Thai farmer with a deep connection to the community. Urmatt produces and processes fully certified organic rice, while also producing chia and coconut during the rice off-season and sells the rice largely to the USA, Denmark, and Germany.

It is located in the northern region of Thailand and has grown to become one of the largest organic jasmine rice producers in the world. Urmatt’s transition to 100% organic operations has made it a leader in its environmental practice.

The loan from Hivos-Triodos Fund enables Urmatt to expand its processing capacity.

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Credits

Text

Triodos Investment Management, Zeist, The Netherlands

Photography

Photos in this impact report have been organised in close cooperation with:

  • Aarstiderne, Denmark
  • Naturfrisk, Denmark
  • Naty, Sweden
  • DO-IT, the Netherlands
  • Marqt, the Netherlands

Design

Icemedia, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

What can we do for you?

Are you an investor who wants to find out more about opportunities for investing in Triodos Organic Growth Fund?
We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Please, contact our Investor Relations team:

E triodosinvestmentmanagement@triodos.nl
T +31 (0)30 694 2400

Are you a European company in the organic food and sustainable consumer sector looking for long-term and mission-aligned capital?
We’d be happy to discuss your needs and objectives.
Please, contact Riëlla Hollander, Fund Manager of Triodos Organic Growth Fund:

E Jurriën Appers
T +31 (0)30 693 6500

Available by the end of July 2017