Global Farmers Master Class

Holding discussions and cooperating at the global level to arrive at innovative solutions for their strategic issues. This is what the 22 farmers from 6 different countries are doing, they are participating in the Global Farmers Master Class 2017. A masterclass organised by Rabobank, the central focus of which is on the exchange of knowledge, best practices and experiences.

“We are proud that we are able to organise the Global Farmers Master Class for the sixth time,” says Berry Marttin, member of the Rabobank Board of Directors and host of the Master Class. "The event is being held in the Netherlands this year from the 17th of June until the 23th. The participants come from America, Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, the Netherlands and England, and take part in an intensive programme lasting a week. This year's Master Class is a continuation of the Global Farmers Master Class held last year in Australia, which was then followed up in New Zealand. It will now be completed in the Netherlands".

In dialogue on strategic themes

The central focus is the dialogue between the farmers themselves, and with experts and Rabobank. Marttin: "Naturally, we discuss global food issues and food security with one another. We have also put another three themes on the agenda, in conference with the participants, which are important to them, namely strategic entrepreneurship, communication & storytelling, and innovation. These are themes which are very current. Because we are being confronted with the limitations of our natural resources. Since 2000, the amount of agricultural land has decreased by approximately 1% each year, due to erosion and urbanisation, among other things. Farmers have to produce more with less. Future-oriented farming demands new production methods with the use of smart techniques. This will require innovation, a clear strategy and entrepreneurship. Alongside this, consumers are demanding more and more information about food and its origins. At the same time, it remains difficult to communicate your story as a Farmer to the consumer. We will also be focusing on this aspect in workshops."

An inside look into one another's businesses

As well as workshops, presentations and dialogue sessions, company visits will also form part of the programme. This involves visits to the businesses of a great many Global Farmers Master Class alumni. Dairy farmer Kees Hemminga will be one of these, giving the participants a guided tour of his business in Terband, and the circular model will be the main focus of the visit to Martin Houben’s pig farm. And innovative and sustainable market concepts will be discussed during the company visit to Wijnen Square Crops.

Sharing knowledge and insights more broadly

An online magazine will be created on the basis of the Global Farmers Master Class 2017. This will contain summaries of the experiences of the participants, knowledge and insights. During the master class, it will be possible to view the insights immediately, arranged per theme, at, for our agricultural customers, via the Global Farmers Platform. So that even farmers who do not participate can make use of the information and insights made available during the Global Farmers Master Class.