Second investment for food and agriculture focused private equity fund

responsAbility adds leading organic products company Suminter to its portfolio

October 20184 min readSustainable Food

Zurich, 4 October 2018 — The responsAbility-managed private equity vehicle focusing on food and agriculture has completed its second investment and taken a minority stake in Suminter, a leading global organic products supply chain management company which sources, processes and exports certified 100% organic and GMO-free products from Asia and Africa.

Founded in 2004, Suminter is a fast-growing, market-leading global supply chain management company focused on 100% organic and GMO-free products, with a diverse product portfolio encompassing the largest segments in the long shelf life organic foods and fibre industry such as animal feed (soya), food (spices and herbs, cocoa, virgin coconut oil, vanilla, sugar, cereals and pulses etc.) and whole body (cotton). The company’s sourcing and processing operations are spread across Asia and Africa and it has a diversified customer base across a total of 20 countries and 4 continents including the US and Europe.  

The global organic food market has reached a critical mass and is growing fast, expected to reach USD 321 bn by 2025, which reflects a 10-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13%. The long gestation periods for converting conventional farmland into organic farmland and for obtaining global certifications leads to entry barriers for companies who want to become active in the market.

Suminter’s inclusive business model integrates smallholder farmers into global supply chains and currently works with close to 50’000 certified farmers. It enjoys entrenched farmer relationships helping farmers obtain organic certification, providing training on safe and sustainable organic farming practices with the objective of reducing costs and increasing yield, and providing a reliable market for their produce. 

This is the third round of external funding for Suminter. The company previously raised funding from Nexus Venture Partners and Capricorn Investment Group. Suminter will use the proceeds of this round to fund its capacity expansion plans and for working capital financing.

Speaking on behalf of responsAbility, Rik Vyverman, Head of Agriculture Equity Investments explained: “Agriculture and Food is one of the core sectors for responsAbility globally. We are excited to back a leading organic products player backed by a driven and capable management team and featuring an inclusive business model that integrates smallholder farmers into global supply chains. Combining double-digit growth rates with tangible development impact, Suminter exactly fits the profile of portfolio companies we are looking for in private equity investments in the agriculture and food sector.”

Sameer Mehra, Founder & Promoter of Suminter, explained: “We, at Suminter, believe in a triple-bottom line approach to create lasting impacts in society resulting in social and economic growth of farmer communities whom we work with, environmental benefits by promoting chemical-free farming and ensuring that our customers receive a highly nutritious & chemical-free product. We are very excited to have responsAbility join us in this initiative. Their team, led by Rik Vyverman and Akshay Dua, share our vision for a sustainable future, and we are excited to have their support and guidance as we work towards it.”

About Suminter India Organics  ( Mumbai-based Suminter India Organics is a leading global producer of diverse range of 100% certified-organic, all natural, non-GMO products, encompassing the largest segments in the organic foods and fibre industry - animal feed, food and whole body.  The company’s sourcing and processing operations are spread across Asia & Africa - India, Philippines, Ethiopia and Uganda. It helps small-holder farmers convert to certified organic cultivation currently works with over 48,000 certified small-scale farmers, with a coverage of over 100,000 hectares. The company processes and sells soya bean, spices and herbs, cocoa, virgin coconut oil, sugar, cereals and pulses, amongst others and has a diversified customer base spread across a total of 20 countries.  

About responsAbility Investments AG ( responsAbility Investments AG is a leading asset manager in the field of development investments and manages a range of investment vehicles that supply private debt and private equity to high-impact portfolio companies in the agriculture, energy and finance sector of emerging economies.  responsAbility has USD 3 billion of assets under management invested in 540 companies in 90 countries. Founded in 2003, the company is headquartered in Zurich and has local offices in Bangkok, Geneva, Hong Kong, Lima, Luxembourg, Mumbai, Nairobi, Oslo and Paris. Its shareholders include a number of reputable institutions in the Swiss financial market and its own employees. responsAbility is regulated by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA.


Stephanie Bilo
responsAbility Investments
+41 44 403 0553

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