Equilibria relies on innovative and greener technology. It uses state-of-the-art instruments to increase production, minimize water use and apply environmentally friendly pest control.
“Our farms are full of life,” says Angie Álvarez, head of certifications at Equilibria. “You can see insects, reptiles, and birds everywhere, in the middle of the orchards. We conserve all existing forests and biological corridors in the area and reforest critical spots like riverbanks with native tree species to protect these vulnerable resources, add biodiversity, and prevent soil erosion.”
Sustainable livelihoods through Latin American green farming fund
It isn’t easy to find financing to harvest gigantic volumes of limes. “Local banks were hesitant to provide loans,” Duque says. “Finding the right type of patient, flexible financing for the first orchards has been key.”
EcoEnterprises supports many companies in Latin America and other parts of the world. The European Investment Bank was fundamental to the launch of the EcoEnterprises Fund in 2000 and has been a key partner ever since, making two big investments worth about €21 million in the past decade. The EIB last signed with the fund in May 2018, but EcoEnterprises is still supporting companies across the world today with this investment.
“The world needs climate and infrastructure funds, as they are often run by local people who understand the local cultural and social framework,” says Sissi Frank-Pérez, a private equity funds investment officer at the EIB who worked on the EcoEnterprises deal. “By selecting the right investment funds, we can do more work in areas where it’s hard to find finance, such as climate change, social welfare and gender equality.”
The Equilibria investment shows that the conservation of nature can be commercially attractive and a win-win for communities, companies, and investors.
“Investment funds are an excellent source of money to mobilise more capabilities from the private sector in a financially sustainable way, while tackling the great challenges of our time, biodiversity loss and climate change,” Frank-Pérez adds.