A ten-year deal tying sustainability criteria to finance for large-scale egg production has been signed in Singapore. DBS Bank, which provides financial services in Greater China, Southeast Asia and South Asia, agreed the S$27m (€18.8m) loan with Chew’s Agriculture in 2019. At the time it was the first sustainability-linked loan to a Singapore SME.
Chew’s is using the funds to build larger cage-free facilities that provide hens with more room and raised perches. If the company meets the standards of Humane Farm Animal Care it will win lower interest rates on the loan. Requirements include access to “wholesome and nutritious feed”, and care of the birds must be “skilled, knowledgeable [and] conscientious”. Chew’s and DBS believe that implementing these measures will help make eggs more nutritious.
Chew’s has described the deal as “a win-win solution that sets a new benchmark for how we run our business.” DBS says that its policy is “paving the way for SMEs to incorporate sustainable business practices into their daily operations.” The Bank predicts that sustainability-linked finance for the SME sector will increase, “especially since these financing options incentivise and reward companies to advance their sustainability agenda.” Awareness of sustainability is increasing, DBS believes. It assesses clients annually on environmental, social, and governance criteria. When borrowers meet or exceed their targets interest rates are reduced.