NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Zoma Capital and Encourage Capital today announced the launch of the first-ever sustainable seafood investment holding company, Pescador Holdings. As its initial commitment, the company invested in Chile’s Geomar, a leading “shore to shelf,” sustainable seafood company with products sold in major markets throughout the world.
The launch of Pescador is the culmination of more than two years of investment research funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies and The Rockefeller Foundation as part of the Vibrant Oceans Initiative. In 2016, Encourage Capital released Investing for Sustainable Global Fisheries, (www.investinvibrantoceans.org) a set of Investment Blueprints to strategically recover the economic value that is lost due to poor fisheries management, and restore ocean ecosystems, increasing the sustainable seafood supply and providing livelihoods for poor and vulnerable people in seafood dependent economies.
Encourage Capital also said today that Pescador Holdings would start with an initial $10 million commitment from Zoma Capital, the family investment office of Ben and Lucy Ana Walton.
The announcement was made at the Economist Impact Investing Summit, at Time Warner Center in New York City. The event brought together more than 200 leading financiers, institutional investors, policymakers, academics, impact investors and philanthropies to analyze the core opportunities and obstacles to the mainstreaming of impact investment.
“We are excited to launch Pescador Holdings with our partner and impact investment leader Encourage Capital,” said Melissa Cheong, Chief Investment Officer of Zoma Capital. “Pescador will invest in best in class sustainable seafood businesses for the long term. We believe this sustainability-focused strategy will allow companies and ecosystems to meet their full financial and productivity potential by aligning the time frame of investments with the time frame of sustainably managed biological systems.”
“The Zoma Capital and Encourage Capital partnership marks the first time that a research-based, mission aligned investment company has been designed from the ground up to capitalize on the demand for more sustainable seafood,” said Jason Scott, Managing Partner of Encourage Capital. “Local company, government, non-profit and stakeholder partnerships are equally central to this groundbreaking systemic approach, ensuring the ongoing protection and restoration of fisheries.”
Pesacador Holdings’ pioneering investment, Geomar, is a vertically integrated “shore to shelf” leader in the sustainable seafood business, with 20 years of experience working directly with more than 700 artisanal fishers in Chile. The company cuts out middle men by sourcing from as many as 134 capture zones across Chile, and transporting, canning and selling the seafood directly to retail distributors.
Geomar’s sustainable seafood is sold in Chile and important export markets in North America, Europe and Asia, including the United States, France and Hong Kong.
Javier Denoso, CEO of Geomar, said “We are excited to partner with Pescador Holdings to help us grow Geomar to meet its full commercial and impact potential. With these resources we will increase regional employment in Chile, increase the volume and quality of sustainable seafood sourced from fisherman, and invest in distribution of Geomar products directly to customers who appreciate high quality, sustainably sourced seafood.”
Geomar currently employs 150 people – mostly women from the local community in semi-skilled seafood processing roles - at their central manufacturing hub in Coronel, one of Chile’s poorest regions. It is considered to be one of the most sophisticated facilities in the Chilean seafood industry.
Pescador Holdings intends to partner with businesses benefiting from fisheries stabilization or restoration, that have the potential to generate attractive financial returns driven primarily by increased volume availability. Moreover, it will work with companies poised to benefit from improvements in supply-chain efficiency, as well as vertical integration and access to higher-value markets. Pescador Holdings’ integrated investments will include fishing companies and fishery improvements that will protect and restore stock biomass and critical marine habitat, and empower fishers and their communities through higher incomes and greater livelihood resilience.
The firm designs strategies with impact as the fundamental value that lies at the heart of every investment, generates competitive financial returns, and transforms investors into partners to help change the world.