Urgenossen banks invest in Rabobank’s cooperative roots
In October the oldest cooperative Raiffeisen banks met up to discuss Rabobank Foundation’s work. Over the past few years they have supported a credit cooperative in Peru and are now switching their attention to a coffee cooperative in Kenya.
The ‘Urgenossen’ is an international community of the oldest Central Cooperative Raiffeissen banks from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands. It has two Dutch members: Rabobank Enschede-Haaksbergen as the oldest Raiffeisen bank (1896) and Rabobank Dommelstreek as the oldest agricultural loan bank (1897). The Urgenossen meet up each year to honour their collective cooperative legacy. This year Rabobank Dommelstreek hosted the annual meeting dedicated to the Raffeisen’s roots.
“I always like to call Rabobank Foundation the Rabobank on repeat; as such it’s wonderful that the Urgenossen banks have teamed up to fund one of our cooperatives abroad.”
Innovation and social awareness
This year Rabobank Dommelstreek presented an invigorating programme, centred on the theme of innovation and living in the Brainport region. Brainport in south-east Brabant province is a top technology region on a world scale where high-tech and design combine with entrepreneurship and a highly developed manufacturing industry. In addition the Urgenossen banks were given an insight into the rapidly changing housing market by means of the MyHome app, which Rabobank Dommelstreek helped develop.
Rabobank Foundation also featured as part of the programme. Director Pierre van Hedel of Rabobank Foundation attended along with colleague Lieke Verhofstad and gave a presentation. Van Hedel: “I always like to call Rabobank Foundation the Rabobank on repeat; as such it’s wonderful that the Urgenossen banks have teamed up to fund one of our cooperatives abroad.”
From Peru to Kenya
Over the past few years the Urgenossen banks and Rabobank Foundation have invested in the development of the Los Andes credit cooperative in Peru. Now these oldest Raiffeisen banks are investing together in an African coffee cooperative. By supporting this initiative this special community aims to demonstrate its support for cooperatives all over the world while at the same time making a contribution towards global food security.
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