By 2050 there will be nearly 10 billion mouths to feed. And though we produce more food today than at any other time in history, our food system is under stress. Climate change impacts threaten predictable growing seasons and grower livelihoods. Soil health and biodiversity are in decline. An estimated one third of food produced globally is lost or wasted. At the same time, the food and agricultural sector faces shifting consumer demands and changing environmental regulations.
Rabobank knows these challenges are top of mind for our food and agriculture clients around the world. They are fundamental for us too. Businesses that can respond to these new demands will be best equipped to navigate risks and have a healthy, profitable future. Set against this backdrop, the food and agricultural sector is ready for a transition. A series of key transitions, in fact.
Improve and preserve land and water. Land and water provide the very foundation of our food system and producer livelihoods. We must move to a system that reduces stress on our natural resources and incentivizes the protection of land and water across the food value chain.
Create a low greenhouse gas emission economy. Our food system produces between 21 and 37 percent of human-generated greenhouse gas emissions, which cause climate change. Climate change impacts increase financial risk and reduce stability across the F&A supply chain. Reducing emissions will benefit the climate and business in the long term.
Reduce food loss and waste – from farm to fork. An estimated 1.3 billion tons of food are wasted annually. A reduction of food loss in the supply chain, and food waste with consumers, not only frees up more food to feed a growing population. It’s also smart business to get the most out of the resources we produce.
To get there, we also face a digital transition. Increasing digitalization across the global food system will make food production and distribution smarter, more efficient, and more sustainable. By measuring, collecting, and analyzing data, by using technology to connect clients with the rights markets, partners, and financial tools, we can accelerate the other key transitions across the food value chain.
While there are many challenges facing the F&A sectors, Rabobank believes it can have the greatest impact for – and with – clients in these four identified areas. That’s why we have made facilitating these four transitions a top priority in the coming years.
As one of the largest food and agricultural banks in the world, Rabobank has relationships with major players across the food system. With wide networks and sector-specific knowledge, we are able to influence and support clients as they navigate the changing F&A landscape. As a bank, we also have financial resources, including impact finance solutions to generate positive social and environmental outcomes – without sacrificing financial returns.
To shape a future-proof food system, you need to know what can be done, who can do it, and you need the financial resources to make it possible. With our knowledge, networks and financial solutions, we are ready to work together and support our clients through their sustainability transitions.
Watch The Road to Change to see Rabobank’s vision for an interconnected, innovative food system that is ready for whatever the future brings.