Rabo’s Food & Agribusiness Principles

Climate change, raw material scarcity, environmental contamination and an exploding world population are problems that will strongly influence each other in the coming decades. As a global food & agri bank, we uphold our responsibility in looking for the sustainable solutions needed to tackle them.

It is clear that to achieve the next level of sustainability in the food & agri chain, all parties and stakeholders, from the political sector to the industry and from customers to banks, must come together and work in concert. This is why Rabobank has formulated the following five guiding principles for Food & Agri business:

1. Safe and sufficient food production

Experts forecast that to meet the food needs of the growing world population, worldwide food production will have to double between now and 2050. The first priority in the food & agri chain is to meet the world's food needs at a reasonable price, with products that are not a threat to human and animal health.

2. Responsible use of natural resources

Ensuring the continuity of food production will require attention to factors such as soil degradation and erosion and soil and surface water pollution. The water available to the food & agri chain must be conserved, overfishing must be prevented and valuable nature areas must be protected.

3. Promotion of smart choices on the part of citizens and customers

Food & agri businesses can better inform consumers of the origins of products to enable them to make better choices. As the demand for sustainable products rises, the use of sustainable production methods will increase.

4. Responsible animal husbandry and stock management

The way animals are treated by actors in the livestock chain (livestock farmers, dealers, fish farmers, animal transporters, etc.) must be appropriate to a society with high legal and ethical standards. 

5. Promoting social welfare

The food & agri chains can only truly be called sustainable when it safeguards the social welfare and living environment of the people working in it. This means eliminating corruption, discrimination, human rights violations, forced labour, harmful child labour practices and poor working conditions.

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