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INNOVATIVE FUND MAKES INVESTING IN SMALLHOLDER FARMERS ATTRACTIVE, DELIVERING ESG IMPACT

SMALLHOLDER FARMERS

IDH the Sustainable Trade Initiative – in coalition with Unilever, Jacobs DE, Mondelez and Rabobank – launched the world’s biggest ever impact fund for smallholder farmers finance. Starting with EUR 100 million, the IDH Farmfit Fund is expected to catalyze up to a billion EUR of commercial investments into smallholder farmers in developing countries. The IDH Farmfit Fund is facilitated by IDH and is backed by significant funding from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a guarantee from the US Agency for International Development.

“The lack of capital for smallholders to invest in sustainable practices leads to rural poverty and environmental damage. While climate change originates from emissions, the battle is on the ground. The catastrophes we have seen lately are heavily amplified by land management issues. The Fund will dramatically improve their ability to cope with the impacts of climate change and their possibility to earn a decent income,” said Joost Oorthuizen, Executive Director and Chairman of the Board at IDH.

A fuller picture of the IDH Farmfit Fund was revealed at Davos during the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, in the SDG tent. Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands in her role as “United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA) opened the event. She emphasized the need to go beyond business-as-usual to support smallholder farmers in improving their lives. Customer centricity and cross-sector partnerships are key for financial institutions to offer meaningful solutions while making a good business. It is also important to identify critical market linkages in supply chains to improve efficiency and productivity. Farmfit is going beyond business as usual, and is a great example of how businesses can help bring financial services to farmers.

The IDH Farmfit Fund will be guided by enabling resilient smallholder farming; having a positive impact on the environment, social and gender issues; supporting food security and climate protection; while supporting growth and financial innovation. The EUR 100 million Farmfit Fund will catalyze investments into ESG impact by taking the highest risk positions in deals that directly improve smallholders’ livelihoods in Africa, Asia or Latin America. By doing so, the Farmfit Fund will pave the way for (commercial) investors, including banks, companies and institutional asset managers, to invest in a space that we up until now perceived as too risky or lacking the required scale.

The Farmfit Fund is the third element of the IDH Farmfit offering. Farmfit Business Support helps companies make their smallholder engagement models more effective and through Farmfit Intelligence, we share best practices. Farmfit Business Support is a USD 30 million investment from DFID (the Department for International Development in the UK) and others, which provides Technical Assistance support to Agri SMEs in order to develop and implement sustainable business models and increase their engagement with smallholder farmers. Farmfit Intelligence creates and shares data-driven and systematic insights into efficiency and sustainability of service delivery models leading to better-informed investment strategies. ​

Mr Oorthuizen added: “We expect the Farmfit Fund to represent a new generation of financing in the same way that microfinancing did 20 years ago. Farmfit’s innovative funding model coupled with a USD 250 million guarantee from USAID, covering senior loans to investment projects from the Fund, will make investments in smallholder value chains very attractive. The Fund will ensure significant financing at a significant reduced risk level. Thus the Fund will enable banks and financial institutions to make sound impact investments now – and help support sustainable smallholder farming while mitigating the impact of climate change.”

Marc Engel, Chief Supply Chain Officer, Unilever commented: “Smallholders are stewards of the land, soil and forests. Integrating smallholders into the value chain is critical to sustainable land use and in protecting forests and biodiversity. Smallholders often face financial barriers which is why public-private partnerships such as the IDH Farmfit are essential. There is a clear business case to enable farmers to invest in their farms, thereby increasing their yields and profitability. The ultimate investment in feeding the world’s growing population.”

Berry Marttin, member of the Executive Board, Rabobank said: “The focus on smallholder farmers and the use of blended finance in the Farmfit Fund is a strong and necessary combination. If we want to achieve our shared ambition of sustainably feeding a growing world population then it is essential that we improve access to capital for smallholder farmers. The IDH Farmfit Fund is perfectly aligned with our ‘Growing a better world together’ mission and that is why we are one of the senior partners in this fund. It is my dream that in 2030, smallholder finance will be the best yielding bonds on the NYSE.”

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NEW IVALUA STUDY SHOWS TECHNOLOGY CHALLENGES ARE HINDERING PROCUREMENT TEAMS FROM ACHIEVING BUSINESS OBJECTIVES

Lack of system integrations and actionable insights are stopping organisations from accurately measuring performance

 

Ivalua, a leading provider of global spend management cloud solutions, has announced the latest findings of a worldwide study of supply chain, procurement and finance business leaders on Effective Procurement Performance Measurement. The study revealed the challenges procurement teams face when it comes to achieving business objectives and the wide and growing gap in performance between advanced and less mature teams.

 

The research, conducted by Forrester Consulting and commissioned by Ivalua, found that procurement teams are increasingly being measured by non-cost KPIs such as revenue opportunities being created, payment performance (e.g. on time payments) and spend visibility. However, a lack of data integration between systems (44%), lack of relevant insights (40%) and insights not being made available at the right point in the process (39%) are preventing organisations from accurately measuring progress against business objectives. This is because organisations continue to face challenges when it comes to harnessing technology in procurement, with existing systems not being fit for purpose (36%), poor data quality reducing trust in information (36%) and staff having inaccurate expectations of what technology can do (34%).

 

The research went on to reveal that more digitally “advanced” procurement departments are far exceeding “beginner” procurement departments that are less digitally mature in the range of KPIs they track, how frequently they measure success and the levels of planned technology investments. Key findings include:

  • 97% of advanced procurement departments say procurement strategy is well aligned with overall business strategy versus only 14% of beginners.
  • 51% of advanced procurement departments measure performance weekly or biweekly, versus only 26% of beginners.
  • Only 16% of beginners proactively monitor suppliers’ contracts for expiration and risk, versus 94% of advanced – this is critical for helping organisations manage today’s global supply chain challenges, such as the Coranavirus outbreak.

 

“In order for procurement teams to achieve their growing list of objectives and become strategic enablers for their organisations it’s clear they need to overcome a number of technology challenges” said David Khuat-Duy, Corporate CEO of Ivalua. “As we can see from more digitally advanced procurement departments, technology adoption has helped them to align with business objectives, actively measure performance and add value in areas such as risk management. Their investments and approach to leveraging technology is building a competitive advantage.”

 

According to the study, the amount organisations are spending on procurement technology has been rising and expected to accelerate. In the past 12 months, 46% of organisations increased spending by 5-10%. In the next 12 months, 39% plan to increase spending by 5-10%, while a further 43% plan to increasing spending by 10% or more. Procurement leaders are also looking to fully digitise procurement processes (40%), becoming the preferred customers of strategic suppliers (40%), implementing new software for sourcing/procurement (38%) and improving reporting and insights (38%) to help achieve objectives.

 

“It’s encouraging to see organisations investing more in technology, which will help procurement become a key strategic enabler that goes beyond cost reduction to build a competitive advantage,” added Khuat-Duy. “Increasing adoption of technology will allow procurement teams to gain complete visibility into all suppliers and spend. This will open up further opportunities for procurement to help identify revenue opportunities, track risk and improve sustainability, helping to contribute towards wider procurement and business objectives.”

 

Download the full study here.

 

*The February 2020 study was conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Ivalua and is based on a survey of 409 finance, procurement and supply chains decision makers throughout North America and Europe, as well as several in depth interviews.

 

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ERSTE BANK HUNGARY IMPROVES AND SECURES THE REMOTE BANKING EXPERIENCE WITH ONESPAN MOBILE SECURITY

ONESPAN

Leading Hungarian bank deploys OneSpan’s Mobile Security Suite to one million customers to make mobile banking convenient while fighting fraud and meeting PSD2 requirements

 

OneSpan™ (NASDAQ: OSPN), the global leader in securing remote banking transactions, today announced that Erste Bank Hungary, a subsidiary of Erste Group Bank AG, one of the leading banks in Central and Eastern Europe, has integrated OneSpan’s Mobile Security Suite into its banking app MobilBank. Erste Bank Hungary selected Mobile Security Suite to enable and protect online and mobile transactions and to comply with PSD2 requirements for authentication and dynamic linking.

The European Payment Council has stated that social engineering attacks continue to increase and remain instrumental in fraud schemes, often in combination with malware.[1] Erste Bank Hungary chose to implement OneSpan’s Mobile Security Suite to protect against potential social engineering and malware attacks directed at its customers. OneSpan’s technology enables banks to integrate application shielding, biometric authentication and transaction signing.

Erste Bank Hungary added Mobile Security Suite’s Cronto visual transaction signing to replace the bank’s SMS authentication with push authentication for login and transaction signing. This new process improves security and eliminates significant costs related to SMS delivery. OneSpan’s Cronto technology also helps fight social engineering attacks like phishing, while enhancing the customer experience by  enabling transaction signing using a color QR code.

“OneSpan’s proven technology will help us maintain our leading position in the market without compromising on security or the customer experience,” said Erste Bank Head of Digital Services, Akos Andras Molnar. “As part of this roll-out, our customers can also make online purchases using push notification with any retailer connecting to Erste Bank via the 3-D Secure protocol.”

“Criminal hackers continue to target banking customers as social engineering remains a preferred technique,” said OneSpan CEO, Scott Clements. “In their search for security solutions, banks need to consider cost, convenience and regulatory compliance. OneSpan’s technologies address these concerns so that banks can focus on providing a secure and convenient customer experience.”

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