15 Nov SEAF Wins Responsible Investment Award at 19th Annual AVCJ Private Equity & Venture Capital Awards
Hong Kong – November 11, 2019 – SEAF is honored to have been awarded the AVCJ’s Responsible Investment Award for its work with Organica, a Vietnamese organic food producer, and retailer. Each year, the AVCJ, Asia’s leading source of information for private equity and venture capital, highlights the industry’s best performing and most innovative firms, professionals, exits and fundraises. The Responsible Investment category was introduced to recognize the outstanding environmental, social and governance practices in an Asia-based business.
SEAF invested in Organica in 2018 as part of its Southeast Asian-focused SEAF Women’s Opportunity Fund targeting growth-oriented, women-led businesses in Vietnam, the Philippines, and Indonesia. The Company was founded in 2011 by Pham Phuong Thao, a young mother, who, upon recognizing the inadequacies in Vietnam’s conventional food system, sought to provide the public with clean, safe and healthy food. Organica established the country’s first organic farm, avoiding the use of harmful and toxic chemicals, and receiving certification from both the US and EU regulators. The Company has since expanded to a number of farms and retail outlets.
As with all of its investments, SEAF has implemented a rigorous Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) policy with Organica to aid in the company’s long-term sustainability. These efforts included:
- Environmental: Assisting Organica in its efforts to promote sustainable agriculture by working with new farmers to ensure they are protecting natural resources, conserving biodiversity and implementing the best practices necessary to become certified organic suppliers. Today, Organica has three of its own farms and is contracting with eight farms throughout Vietnam, all of which follow the Company’s strict organic cultivation procedures.
- Social: Employing its proprietary Gender Equality Scorecard© (GES) to assess women’s economic empowerment and gender equality at the Company. SEAF worked with Company to formalize human resources management, develop policies to ensure a safe workplace environment, and promote workplace participation benefits and professional development.
- Governance: Working to formalize business processes and working to ensure proper oversight and reporting through activities such as hiring auditors, organizing regular meetings of the board of directors and designing key-metric management reports.
SEAF is a global fund management company headquartered in Washington, DC that invests in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in emerging and frontier markets, seeking both financial returns and impact on economic and social development; and providing technical assistance to improve the performance of the enterprises. SEAF, with committed capital of $1.2 billion, has 30 years of experience with 40 funds in over 30 countries. SEAF also supports 11 Centers for Entrepreneurship and Development (CEED) around the world (www.ceed-global.org), providing training, mentoring, professional networks and global access to entrepreneur-run businesses. For more about SEAF, see www.seaf.com. ###
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