Brenda de Swart: "In general, companies that have a strong focus on sustainability also perform well economically." Photo: Rabobank.

Sustainable salmon farmers are a safe bet for bank

Advances in sustainability made by salmon producers in Chile have opened the door to new finance for the country’s fish farmers, according to a bank executive involved in issuing so-called “green loans”.

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Brenda de Swart, sustainability manager of RaboFinance Chile - a subsidiary of Rabobank – told Fish Farming Expert’s Chilean sister site,, that the industry had made considerable progress in the transition to sustainable practices in the last five years.

Salmon producers Blumar and Ventisqueros have both recently agreed green loans from RaboFinance, which come with a series of sustainability commitments the companies must meet.

‘A real commitment’

“We offer sustainable financial solutions to those clients that we feel are truly committed to sustainable development,” said De Swart. “In the case of Blumar, and also in the case of Ventisqueros with whom we have agreed to close another relevant Sustainability Linked Loan, we saw a real commitment at all levels of the company to advance sustainability issues. 

“By offering them a loan linked to sustainability, both companies voluntarily commit to meeting several ambitious indicators that are 100% aligned with their sustainability strategy, demonstrating the real commitment we seek in a client.”

Defined KPIs

Asked whether green loans were already a trend in the Chilean salmon farming industry, De Swart said: “Sustainable financing solutions, such as green credits or loans linked to sustainability, can be offered in any sector. However, if we look at the salmon sector specifically, we can see that today, in general, large salmon farming companies have strong governance when it comes to sustainability, with a clear strategy and a defined set of KPIs (key performance indicators). 

“This facilitates the structuring of a solution as a Sustainability Linked Loan for these companies. On the other hand, we can also see that the largest salmon farming companies in Chile have made great strides in the transition to sustainable practices in the last five years. This makes them eligible candidates for these types of financial solutions.”

Long-term strategy

Environmental and economic sustainability go hand in hand, said the executive.

“Rabobank is convinced that there is a clear correlation between a company’s sustainability performance and its economic performance,” explained De Swart. 

“In general, what we see is that companies that have a strong focus on sustainability also perform well economically. This can be explained by the fact that those companies have a long-term strategy, which makes them better prepared for future challenges, helping to reduce the financial risks of the company.”

The full version of this interview (in Spanish) can be read here.