Focus on OPIC Impact Award winners: Sante GMT
OPIC works hard to ensure the projects it supports will deliver a strong and positive impact in the host country and often these benefits extend far beyond the stated mission of the project. That’s the case with Sante GMT, a producer of milk and dairy products in Georgia, which won one of two Impact Awards given this year in the development impact category.
Eight years ago, OPIC approved a $4 million loan to help Sante upgrade an old Soviet factory to a modern milk processing plant. The project performed so well that OPIC committed additional loans to help Sante add butter, cheese and dessert foods to its product lines and to invest in more modern, energy efficient technologies.
Today, in addition to providing a quality food supply, this project has delivered significant benefits across the country. It has helped generate income for thousands of small Georgian farmers who previously had no way of selling the milk produced on their land but can now sell it into a series of milk collection centers that Sante set up around the country.
This graphic illustrates the far reaching benefits of the project, which in addition to increasing the country’s food supply has created hundreds of jobs, income for thousands of farmers, and introduced more modern and energy efficient technologies.
Georgia endured several turbulent years after it gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Private businesses often struggled to obtain financing and formerly state-owned industries such as the dairy industry needed to shift to a more commercial and customer-focused approach. Today this country, which sits on the southern border of Russia, less than 200 miles from Iran, is a stable force in an often unstable region.
Sante Chairman George Tavadze, who accepted the award at the awards ceremony May 19, spoke about the value of Sante’s partnership with OPIC and the high standards OPIC helped bring to the project.