Global Agri-Development Company (GADCO), the FMCG agri-food company operating in sub-Saharan Africa, is pleased to announce an equity investment from Acumen Fund, the pioneering New York-based impact investment fund. Acumen Fund provides patient capital to scalable business models aimed at transforming livelihoods through market-based products and services.
“We are delighted with Acumen Fund’s investment and with its support in building inclusive value chains with smallholders for our Copa brand foods products,” said Iggy Bassi, co-founder of GADCO. “Acumen will play a vital role in helping GADCO pursue its unique 'creating shared value' business model across West African food markets, starting in Ghana, where we currently operate.”
He added: “Integrating smallholders into competitive and sustainable FMCG value chains is not only essential for lifting smallholders out of poverty, but also for building regional solutions for food security and economic development. Acumen's considerable global experience in impact investing and unique insight in scaling business models will be invaluable for GADCO’s regional growth".
Demand for FMCG foods in West Africa has been growing strongly in recent years, and has primarily been serviced by rising imports. Increasing income levels, GDP growth, and rapid urbanization offer a unique opportunity to build domestic and regional competitive value chains. GADCO’s inclusive and sustainable business model is strategically positioned to build market share in these growing food markets, especially in base of the pyramid segments. Its partnerships with global leaders for agri-inputs, R&D, and market distribution allow it to commercially link smallholders to these growth markets. This inclusive model significantly improves smallholder incomes, access to affordable and safe products, and credit worthiness. Through its Copa Jasmine rice, GADCO has demonstrated that African grains can be successfully cultivated locally, and that its quality rice products can be effectively linked to high demand FMCG markets through local distributor Finatrade.
“Acumen Fund is excited to be starting its investment work in West Africa with GADCO, as it represents an innovative solution to supporting smallholder famers and linking them to critically important markets. We believe that what GADCO is initiating with Copa will serve as a model for other crops in Ghana, and for other countries,” said Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO of the Acumen Fund.
“Acumen will join our current investors Summit Capital and Root Capital in expanding key value-chain infrastructure and production programs in Ghana,” commented Toks Abimbola, co-founder of GADCO. “In tandem with operational and development partners, GADCO will be launching a new initiative in 2012 to create core infrastructure from the farm to consumer products, underpinned by global standards and best-in-class technology from Brazil. Our belief is that this partnership approach marks a genuine technical shift for Ghana and enables us to compete with global players, thus creating shared value for our stakeholders,"
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About Acumen Fund
Acumen Fund is working to create a world beyond poverty by investing in social enterprises, emerging leaders and breakthrough ideas. We invest patient capital in business models that deliver critical, affordable goods and services to the world’s poor, improving the lives of millions. Since 2001, Acumen Fund has invested more than $70 million in enterprises that provide access to water, health, energy, housing, education and agricultural services to low-income customers in South Asia, East Africa and West Africa. And we are building a global community of emerging leaders that believe in creating a more inclusive world through the tools of both business and philanthropy.
GADCO is a FMCG agri-food company focused on the production, processing, and marketing of its Copa food products in sub-Saharan Africa, with current operations in Ghana. The Company builds and operates integrated and sustainable value chains, in partnership with smallholders, to serve African consumer markets, including the strategic base of the pyramid (BOP) market segment. It is privately owned and investor funded by financial and impact investors.
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GADCO is a FMCG agri-food company focused on the production, processing, and marketing of its Copa food products in sub-Saharan Africa.