Spain: EIB EUR 40m loan to improve sustainability and energy efficiency for Grupo Jorge

The EIB is financing Grupo Jorge with a loan of EUR 40 million to support its research and development activities, which aim to implement new technologies that favour sustainable agricultural techniques and animal welfare. It will also finance investments to increase the production of green energy for its business in Aragón, Spain.

The EIB financing will primarily support Grupo Jorge’s move towards an innovative model of agriculture 4.0, integrating artificial intelligence (AI) and big data management in its value chain. Part of the investments will be dedicated to minimizing the production of ammonia and phosphorus as well as the environmental load related to the emission of these substances into the environment. Strict control of the origin and production systems of the raw materials used in feed will make it possible to avoid the use of products associated with high CO2 emissions due to deforestation and other poor agricultural practices.

Thanks to the integrated process of environmental management that it adopts in its organisation, the Grupo Jorge has applied the principles of reduced emissions since 2015, resorting to investments for the direct minimization of emissions to the environment as well as wind farms and photovoltaic plants to generate energy and reduce the usage of primary energy sources, and through the planting of oak trees to absorb CO2 emissions.

EIB Vice President, Ricardo Mourinho Félix said: “The EIB is putting Paris alignment at the forefront of its activities. Grupo Jorge’s low carbon and resilience goals align with the policies set out in the EIB’s Climate Bank Roadmap. This project will deliver environment and sustainability improvements to the company’s factories in Spain while enhancing employment in rural areas in the country. With the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments, we can help to deliver positive benefits for Grupo Jorge.”

Janusz Wojciechowski, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, said: “This agreement between the EIB and Grupo Jorge is excellent news as it is in line with our ambition to build more resilient, animal-friendly, and sustainable food systems. I am happy to see that this financing will benefit rural areas in Spain, and enable them to launch new technologies for farming techniques that are key to improve agricultural sustainability.”

European Commission backing

The new agreement addresses a number of EU and EFSI objectives including the reduction of carbon and environmental footprint of agriculture and agro-industries. It is aligned with the Horizon Europe, pillar II, cluster 6 in ensuring food and nutrition security for all thanks to innovation in a food system that accelerates the transition to a low carbon, resource efficient, and sustainable pig production.

The project aligned with the European Green Deal while being consistent with the Paris Agreement. The project also complements the EU’s rural development policy and renewable energy generation.

Furthermore, the project is in line with EU policy goals to produce food more efficiently and with a smaller environmental footprint on existing agricultural land.

Market leading Spanish company

Grupo Jorge ranks as the 5th largest pork producer in Europe and is a market leader in Spain.

Generating energy from Group wind farms, photovoltaic plants, and afforestation programme, due to its integrated environmental farm management process, Grupo Jorge has been applying carbon neutral principles since 2020.