Climate smart agriculture needs bold steps

Currently, nearly one third of all globally emitted greenhouse gases is related to agriculture. And if we do not act, this figure will only grow in the coming years and decades. To help mitigate this development, Rabobank and its Foundation work with farmers across all continents to finance projects towards more sustainable agriculture practices, catalyze knowledge sharing and boost networking opportunities. As a globally leading bank in food and agriculture Rabobank takes up its responsibility and can certainly have an impact, but this impact increases substantially if we work in partnership with like-minded businesses, and representatives of civic society organizations and international governmental organizations like the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

That is why Rabobank recently joined the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) as part of its Banking for Food strategy. Aim of this membership is to step up our efforts to enable farmers to produce more efficiently and more sustainably and to strengthen food value chains. Rabobank will take up the chair of the Climate Smart Agriculture Finance Working Group to contribute to its ambition statement to make 50% more food available and reduce agricultural and land-use greenhouse gas emissions from commercial agriculture by 50% in 2030.

Wiebe Draijer, chairman of the Rabobank board: “As a global community we need to step up our game, if we are sincere in sustainably feeding the world population of at least 9 billion people in 2050. Rabobank is already active across all continents to make farmers more resilient and help them produce more food with less impact on the environment. We look forward to amplify our work through the many impactful members of the World Business Council.”

Rabobank is also proud to be launching partner of FReSH: Food Reform for Sustainability & Health. At the heart of FReSH is public awareness as we realize that consumers are at the center of transforming the food value chains. In 2017 still 800M people on this planet are undernourished and suffer from hunger while the number of overweight and obese people exceeds the number of people suffering from undernutrition. In 2014, more than 1.9B adults were overweight, of whom 600M were obese. The FAO predicts that by 2050, meat consumption will increase almost 73% compared to 2010 and 1/3 of food produced will be lost or wasted. This amounts to about 1.3 billion tons annually, with a global cost of more than $400B. This is just a handful of reasons why the current global diet need to be balanced and why the World Business Council and the EAT Foundation initiated FReSH to reach healthy, enjoyable diets for all, produced responsibly within planetary boundaries.