Declaration on deforestation in Brazil

Rabobank is committed to the Paris Agreement and acknowledges the crucial role of forest protection to reach the climate goals. Agriculture and agriculture-related activities are known contributors to global carbon emissions and loss of natural resources. As a bank financing the food and agricultural sectors, we value biodiversity and commit to avoid causing or contributing to adverse impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services.

With financial products and services, as well as our networks and knowledge, we aim to support our corporate clients in soft commodity value chains to achieve zero net deforestation. In Brazil, home to a large part of the Amazon forests, we do not finance deforestation in any biome, even if legally allowed.

Summary of Rabobank Brazil practices and customer engagement

In line with Rabobank’s cooperative values, we believe the best pressure to reduce deforestation is to maintain an agenda of positive engagement with government, society in general, and with the farming community specifically, and to actively promote best practices.

Accordingly:

  • Rabobank maintains tight sustainability standards, and encourages customers to achieve higher standards, which can result in cheaper loan pricing.
  • Rabobank promotes best farming practices, which are generally seen favorably by its customers, as these practices also lead to higher economic value.
  • Non-compliance with Rabobank’s sustainability policy can threaten the relationship, unless damages are repaired and compensated within a reasonable time frame to be agreed upon by the bank. 

We have a clear stance on deforestation in Brazil:

  • We do not finance any deforestation, even if legally allowed.
  • We do not on-board or maintain customers involved in illegal deforestation that occurred after 2005.
  • We do not accept as collateral land in the Amazon biome which has been deforested in the last five years, even if done legally.
  • We encourage and support clients to convert degraded land for agricultural production, thus discouraging deforestation. We provide attractive tailor-made services, including the AGRI3 Fund for forest protection and sustainable agriculture.
  • We promote the provision of ecosystem services by clients and offer financing solutions to enable a sustainable agriculture transition.
  • We promote innovative solutions like “payments for environmental services” to encourage farmers not to deforest and to keep native vegetation in place.
  • We monitor our client performance annually, including their land use through on-site visits. In addition we will work with geospatial solutions in order to map all customer landholdings and then improve land use monitoring on a permanent basis.
  • Furthermore, Rabobank is a member of a variety of industry bodies, like the Round Table on Responsible Soy, the Brazilian Roundtable on Sustainable Livestock, and other initiatives that promote sustainable agriculture.

Please find more detail on our stance and the Brazilian economic and environmental context in our Commitment to Sustainable Agriculture and Forests in Brazil.