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Pivnita Bunicii

Impact Investment

In 2009, the Food Development Company Ltd (FDC) was registered in the UK with the aim of promoting socially responsible investment. Our objectives are for our enterprises to be:
  • Commercially viable 
  • Sustainable 
  • Ethical 
  • Of considerable social and economic benefit for the community 
We call it impact investment. It has been achieved by mobilising private capital and bringing income generating opportunities to some of the poorest communities in Europe.
 
In addition it has also been a rewarding experience for the investors, twenty eight private individuals from the United Kingdom, United States of America, Australia and Romania, who have so far funded FDC in a mixture of loans and investment (debt and equity). 
 
We have, in fact, put into practice what a small group of international development specialists have been writing about for decades on sustainable enterprise development:
  • Ethical business practice,
  • Transparency,
  • Accountability
  • Timely disclosure.
We place considerable emphasis on on-the-job training: mentoring and building the local human capacity to manage and develop. 
 
We have brought ideas from around the world – what works and most importantly, what does not work, and combined this into our approach to impact investment.
Networking at British Embassy
Directors Jim Turnbull and Ioana Mihai with British Ambassador Martin Harris OBE at a DTI "Taste of Britain” networking event hosted at his residence in Bucharest.
 
 
Missing Middle
 
Investments in the rural sector frequently fall into the so called missing middle - too small to get institutional financial support and too big to get commercial bank funding. Our approach to impact investment in the Transylvania Food Company (TFC), a wholly owned subsidiary of FDC, is already being recognised internationally as a model for long term sustainability and one which can be replicated.

Pivnita Bunicii - Mrs Schaaser
An Autumn treat  is the tomato juice made by Mrs Schaaser
 
 
Replicating our Approach
In our roles as development specialists we are now using the lessons learned in Transylvania in our approach to international assignments such as:
  • A project identification mission to Moldova to identify opportunities for adding value to local agricultural production through improving the business environment, small scale processing and introducing farmers markets
  • A recent study of the value chain for honey producers in Mozambique
  • The preparation of a business plan to increase cassava production in Nigeria

A second operational company will be soon registered by FDC in Chile, South America to produce out of the European season, a similar range of juices for the domestic market and for export to Europe.”