SMITHFIELD, Va. – Smithfield Foods Inc. announced its unit in Romania received a $60 million loan from the International Finance Corporation (IFC). Smithfield Romania is a leading pork producer and processor in Europe.

Smithfield Romania, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods International Division, plans to use the proceeds to restructure its debts, promote agribusiness employment and expand its farms and processing facilities. Also on the list of improvements are initiatives to provide best practices in the areas of sustainability, food safety and animal husbandry.

“Today’s announcement is a wonderful development for Smithfield Romania because the IFC loan will not only help promote greater production and job creation, but it will also enhance the company's ability to improve its sustainability program to meet the ever-changing needs and demands of its customers and consumers,” said C. Larry Pope, president and CEO.

Dariusz Nowakowski, president of Smithfield Europe, said pork accounts for half of all protein consumption in Romania and demand for pork remains strong domestically and internationally. Therefore, the loan will help Smithfield Romania expand production capacity and employment while implementing best practices.

“We are committed to meeting this demand with the highest performance standards for environment and sustainability including animal welfare,” Nowakowski said.

IFC is a member of the World Bank Group and is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. IFC works with private enterprises in about 100 countries to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.

“Romania's agribusiness sector holds great potential for generating employment and improving food security in the country and beyond,” said Alzbeta Klein, IFC’s director for manufacturing, agribusiness and services. “IFC is investing in industry leaders who are transferring higher standards, improving efficiency, and helping Romania contribute to global food security.”