Food for thought on the table for Urgenossen
An international community of the oldest cooperative central Raiffeisen Banks from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands – known as the ‘Urgenossen’— gathers annually to pay tribute to their shared cooperative heritage, the roots of Raiffeisen. From the Netherlands two local banks take part: Rabobank Enschede-Haaksbergen as the country’s oldest Raiffeissen bank and Rabobank Dommelstreek, which dates back to 1897 and is the oldest Dutch farmer savings cooperative or Boerenleenbank. This year Rabobank Dommelstreek hosted the festivities.
Rabobank Dommelstreek treated the Urgenossen to a unique ‘on the table’ programme this year with Food for Thought. On a rustic wooden table, key issues such as world food security, the food chain and investing in self-reliance were brought to the attention of those present by Rabobank board member Berry Marttin and Rabobank Foundation’s director Pierre van Hedel.
In recent years the Urgenossen community has teamed up with the Foundation to invest in the development of a credit cooperative in Peru, Los Andes. Over the coming years this community of the oldest Raiffeisen Banks has again pledged its support for small farmer cooperatives in developing countries. This time they will be helping a coffee cooperative in Tanzania. In this way this special community wants to show its continued support for cooperatives all over the world while at the same time making a contribution to resolving the problem of world food security.