Joint approach to strengthen dairy cooperatives in Indonesia
Rabobank Foundation offers local banks and Rabobank clients the opportunity to participate in its projects. Rabobank Weerterland & Cranendonck has decided to choose a dairy project. The joint approach with their clients in this adoption project is truly special. This new initiative to support two dairy cooperatives in Indonesia together through Rabobank Foundation, shows the high level of social involvement of both the local bank and its clients.
Rabobank Foundation has been around for 40 years and each yearlocal banks contribute a percentage of their profits to the Foundation’s work at home and abroad. To make their annual donation visible, more and more local banks are choosing to ‘adopt’ a specific project. Practically, this means that they offer expertise and financial support to a cooperative in a developing country. Jules Coenen, Rabobank Weerterland & Cranendonck’s CEO and also a Rabobank Foundation’s Supervisory Board Member: “This fits Rabobank. We connect different parties, we provide finance and transfer knowledge. The knowledge Rabobank gathered over the last 100 years is of great value to small-scale farmers in developing countries.” Besides the local banks, Rabobank clients can be involved in Rabobank Foundation’s projects too. “The Rabo Foundation Client Fund allows clients to make a donation to one or more projects. It’s a unique way to become socially involved with cooperative projects in developing countries“
A unique form of cooperation
The local bank wanted to adopt a project that would match its area of operations. Some clients were asked to make a contribution as well through the Rabo Foundation Client Fund. The result is a unique form of cooperation in which the bank and ten of its clients have agreed from the start to support two small dairy cooperatives in Central Java, Indonesia: KSU Andini Luhur and KSU Ngudi Luhur. As a result of Rabobank Foundation’s loan, both cooperatives can now provide more credit to their members. The farmers will use this microcredit to buy new cows and invest in a biogas generator. These investments will improve their milk production and their household incomes. The biogas digester supplies free organic fertilizer for their crops as well as sustainable energy, which will create significant cost reductions.
In addition to financial support, the cooperatives are very interested in knowledge from the Netherlands. They have limited experience in milk production and processing, such as collecting and cooling and in running a financially viable business. The local bank and its clients are investigating how to provide technical support in the future. The first step has already been taken: One of the participating clients, a dairy cooperative member himself, is offering the cooperatives a palet of dried cattle feed. This welcome gift will be shipped to Indonesia very soon.
Wealthy clients are constantly asked to donate to charities. So why did these clients of Rabobank Weerterland & Cranendonck decided to participate in the Rabo Foundation Client Fund? One of the them said that a previous trade mission was an eye-opener: “Most of the aid that is given is emergency aid. It’s short-term thinking and it doesn’t solve the problems in the long- term. I believe that people can only be helped by encouraging self-reliance. And that is exactly what Rabobank Foundation is doing!”