Latin America & the Caribbean

Seaboard: Restoring Haiti's food supply

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Site: Haiti
Sector: Food

Challenge: Mitigating the risk involved in rebuilding a key flour mill that was destroyed in the 2010 earthquake.

Solution: OPIC provided Seaboard Overseas Limited with political risk insurance that covered both the rebuilding and expansion of the mill.

Impact: Restarting domestic flour milling in Haiti has increased the country’s food production capacity and domestic food security.

Wheat and wheat-derived products have long been staples of the diet in Haiti, particularly among the country’s low-income families. In 2010 a massive earthquake destroyed a key flour mill and animal feed facility, Les Moulins d’Haiti (LMH), which produced as much as 95 percent of flour consumed there. Rebuilding the mill required not only substantial investment but also a way to mitigate the risk of doing business in one of the poorest and most unstable countries in the Western Hemisphere.

In 2010, OPIC provided political risk insurance to Seaboard Corp., a U.S. company working on the mill’s rebuilding, operation and maintenance through a joint venture with Continental Grain Co.; Unibank, a commercial bank in Haiti; and the Government of Haiti. The insurance covered damage to assets or business income loss resulting from political violence. Reconstruction of the facility – including a four mill, offices, warehouse, storage silos machine shops and an electricity generating plant -- began in February of 2010 and was completed in December 2011. Along with increased production capacity and more modern equipment, the facility was rebuilt to handle greater seismic activity.

Rebuilding Les Moulins d’Haiti has created 150 local jobs and increased the supply and distribution of flour throughout Haiti.

This project was profiled in 2012