Chia Seed Exporter

Borrower Overview


TriLinc has provided financing to a chia seed exporter located in Santiago, Chile. Established in 2005 by Belgian and Chilean entrepreneurs who incorporated a small group of Argentine and Bolivian farmers, the borrower’s market share has steadily grown to comprise up to 15% of global chia seed exports in 2014 and the borrower expects to double its sales volume by 2020. Growing in popularity in international markets, chia seeds are the richest non-marine whole food source of Omega-3 fatty acids and contain protein, dietary fiber, and antioxidants, in addition to numerous vitamins and minerals.1 The borrower sources chia seeds from multiple growers in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay and processes them in a new state of the art plant in the Arica free trade zone of Chile. TriLinc’s financing provides the borrower with timely and flexible short-term export financing for shipments of packaged chia seeds, chia oil (bulk and capsules), and baked good snacks to health food stores, pharmacies, supermarkets, and food service companies located in the Americas, Europe, and Asia.

Market Overview

Chile is classified as a high-income country by the World Bank.1 Between 2010 and 2014, annual GDP growth rates averaged approximately 4.63%.1 Chile, with a vertical length of 2,418 miles and width of 80 miles, is as unique in shape as it is in topography, with over 80% of the country’s land mass covered by the Andes, the world’s longest above-ground mountain range.2 Chile’s main exports are concentrated in copper, fruit, fish products, paper and pulp, chemicals, and wine.9 Conversely, the country’s main imports are focused in petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, electrical and telecommunications equipment, industrial machinery, vehicles, and natural gas.3

Chile meets TriLinc’s country standards for its performance across relevant growth, stability, and access metrics.4 In 2014, it ranked second in the Latin America and Caribbean region on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index and is currently the most competitive economy in the region.5 As the sixth largest economy in the region6 with a GDP of $258.1 billion, Chile’s macroeconomic stability, efficient goods, labor, and financial markets, as well as high level of business sophistication and innovation,7 have led the country to benefit from the $178 billion in net foreign direct investment that was estimated to have flowed into the region in 2014.8 Between 2010 and 2014, the annual GDP growth rate for the region has averaged approximately 3.6% and is forecasted to be 2.8% by 2017.9

Additional Sustainability & Impact Highlights

  • The borrower seeks to ensure the highest levels of product quality and nutritutional value through the attainment and maintenance of relevant product certfications, including Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP), ISO 9001 – Product Quality Management System, and FSSC 22000 – Food Safety Management System.
  • The company is committed to conserving resources by implementing water usage and waste management reduction policies as part of its production practices.

1The World Bank, World Development Indicators Database, Chile, 2015. 2The National Geographic, South America: Physical Geography, 2015; World Atlas, Geography Statisics of Chile, 2016. 3CIA, The World Factbook, 2015: Chile.4There is no assurance that our investment in this company or this market will be successful. 5The World Bank, Doing Business 2016, Going Beyond Efficiency, 2016. 6World Economic Forum, The Global Competitiveness Report 2015-2016. 7The World Bank, World Development Indicators Database, 2015. 8The World Bank, Data, Latin America and the Caribbean, 2015. 9World Bank, Global Economic Prospects, June 2015.

The above information is as of the initial date of investment: December 16, 2015.

This borrower is no longer a TriLinc fund investment.

An investment with TriLinc carries significant fees and charges that will have an impact on investment returns. Information regarding the terms of the investment is available by contacting TriLinc. This is a speculative security and, as such, involves a high degree of risk. Investments are not bank guaranteed, not FDIC insured and may lose value or total value. Some investments may have been made in an investment vehicle that is no longer open for investment. The highlighted investment may or may not have been profitable. There is no guarantee that future investments will be similar.

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