Partnership with WWF
Rabobank entered into a partnership with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in 2011. The mission: to set up projects both together and with clients based on the aim of achieving a sustainable food supply. The related focus is on international food and agri projects.
Rabobank and WWF are dedicated to using example projects to show how a successful transition to sustainable production and operations in the food and agri chains can be achieved. The transition to sustainable food production also shows that economic returns and the conservation and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems can go hand in hand.
Rabobank and WWF deem a project successful if it can be demonstrated that:
- Producers are better off as a result of higher food production achieved by, for instance, making degraded or eroded land once again suitable for production through the use of fewer inputs (water, fertilizers and energy) and by improving the organisation of their activities.
- The environmental pressure on the environment and ecosystems has been significantly reduced as a result of the sustainability measures implemented within the context of the projects.
How will we get started?
The projects will be set up in cooperation with clients in regions in which both partners are active. Rabobank and WWF already work together in Chile (salmon farming), Brazil (soy), India (sugar cane), the Netherlands (dairy) and Indonesia (palm oil).
The focus of the projects is on testing innovative, sustainable agriculture systems and financial products aimed at improving production. The related spearheads are:
- Achieving full transition to sustainable and ecologically responsible enterprise
- Increasing yields
- Reducing production costs
- Improving operations
- Farmed salmon in Chile: In cooperation with Chile’s two largest farmed salmon producers, Rabobank and WWF Chile are charting the steps that must be taken in order to attain ASC certification, whilst conserving biodiversity in the ecosystem. The aim is also to accelerate the ASC certification of other Rabobank clients in Chile.
- Soy in Brazil: Together with Brazilian farmers, Rabobank and WWF are researching whether land rotation produces financial and environmental benefits. Land rotation means the land is used on a rotating basis for the production of soy, livestock farming and eucalyptus cultivation. If the research results are positive, this could be a strategy for combating deforestation in the Amazon and for conserving a biodiverse ecosystem.
- Sugar cane in India: WWF India, a local Rabobank and the two largest sugar producers operating in a subtropical and tropical climate are developing a tool for more efficient water management, limiting CO2 emissions and combating the reduction of the habitat for tigers. The aim of this project is to set a benchmark for the sugar industry in India and perhaps in other parts of the world.
- Dairy in the Netherlands: In association with FrieslandCampina, Rabobank and WWF Netherlands have developed a biodiversity monitor that enables farmers to select the biodiversity measures that suit their region. FrieslandCampina and Rabobank monitor the farmers’ performance level in order to be able to give them suitable remuneration.
- Palm oil in Indonesia: WWF Indonesia and the local Rabobank have advised a palm oil producer on the RSPO certification process. The parties are currently discussing how they can work together strategically to enable small farmers to make palm oil production more sustainable in order to protect the habitat of orangutans. WWF Indonesia and the local Rabobank are also collaborating in the field of making the expanding farmed fish industry more sustainable.
Celebrating the partnership
The partnership was celebrated through the ‘Sustainable Development Goal 17: What makes a partnership successful?’ congress on 5 July 2017. The local businesses and other involved organisations shared the experiences they have gained through the different projects at this congress. They looked both at the keys to success and the obstacles that have been overcome along the way. The aim was to inspire others and enable them to realize together the Sustainable Development Goals relevant to them more easily.
An impression of the congress and more information about the partner projects can be found below.
'Food entrepreneurs earn from nature conservation'
Rabobank and the World Wide Fund for Nature Netherlands (WWF Netherlands) organised the 'Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 17: What makes a partnership successful?' congress in the auditorium of Rabobank Nederland’s campus in Utrecht on Wednesday, 5 July 2017.
New insights for water-guzzling sugar industry
Few other crops are as thirsty as sugar cane. In India, sugar cane farming is pursued at the expense of the water supply, other forms of agriculture and the surrounding nature.
Doing more with less in Brazilian agriculture
Agriculture as a strategy for combating deforestation in the Amazon and other areas of Brazil?
Working towards a more sustainable salmon industry
Each summer, blue whales, an endangered species, migrate to the coastal areas of Chile. In its fjords and bays they give birth to their calves and gather food.
Biodiversity Monitor: Method for Biodiversity Protection in agriculture
A growing number of agricultural businesses have come to recognise nature and the environment as a value-added resource that can help them to improve their business operations.
Utrecht University publishes on F&A in relation to climate change
The Copernicus institute associated with the University of Utrecht has published a report.