Food for thought at Rabobank Salland - Meal with a message
How will we feed nine billion people? How best to handle all the differences in the world? And what can we do as individuals? These were some of the questions raised during the ‘Food for thought’ dinners hosted by Rabobank Salland on the 28th and 29th of October. The concept – in which the table is used to introduce unusual dishes and inspiring speakers – was originally launched on the occasion of Rabobank Foundation’s 40th anniversary and has since gained a following among various local Rabobanks throughout the country. Rabobank Salland invited 150 guests on two successive evenings. The outcome: idealism, inspiration and pride.
On Wednesday 28 October the dinner took young people as its theme, focussing attention on Connect2Uganda, a Rabobank Foundation project in which the local bank is also involved. The joint objective is to improve the quality of life for young people in Uganda’s Bukomansimbi district. A slot was also allocated to students of the Windesheim Honours College, who pitched the solutions to world food problems they had formulated during the World=U youth project. Rabobank Salland has also pledged to engage with one of the issues raised: ‘how do we tackle food waste in Salland?’
On the 29th of October the bank played host to its business contacts. Director Pierre van Hedel of Rabobank Foundation gave an insight into the foundation’s work. ‘What touches me personally is that we can really make a difference with the help we give. And then it’s not only about money but more particularly about the know-how and networks that we at Rabobank have at our disposal.’ Director Fred van Heijningen of Food & Agri International also offered food for thought. His succinct presentation bristling with facts brought the challenges we face sharply into focus. To round off, there was a striking and inspiring lecture by Professor Arnold van Huis, outlining how eating insects can help solve the world food problem. And of course all those present were able to sample insect dishes.
Ed den Besten, chairman of the board at the local bank, is highly enthusiastic about the dinner concept. ‘It’s a special event which has allowed us to show what makes us different as a bank. Both the food and the speakers are served on the table. And as an encore we even had an African dance troupe who danced on the tables. For our guests it was an experience like no other. When have they been able to tell at home that they went to an evening at the Rabobank and there was dancing on the tables? During these dinners we want to share with our guests the story of Banking for Food and Rabobank Foundation. The dishes by leading chefs come from countries where Rabobank Foundation is working and are featured in the ROOTS cookbook that our guests were given as a sign of appreciation. People were touched and moved by the evening and by what we at Rabobank stand for, and so I look back on our dinners with great satisfaction.’