press releases https://www.rabobank.com/DotCom/Corporate/en/press/rss.html press releases en <![CDATA[Rabobank and Bleeve help customers to enhance the sustainability of their homes]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2017/20170620-verduurzamen-woning.html?utm_medium=RSS Lower energy bills, greater comfort and a home that appreciates in value. A sustainable home gives homeowners a host of benefits, but they often also see the path to solar panels and extra insulation as a long and complicated one. Rabobank has entered into an alliance with online platform Bleeve to help customers with implementing energy-saving measures.

Homes account for 18% of Dutch CO2 emissions. The Dutch Energy Agreement for Sustainable Growth stipulates that all homes in the Netherlands must on average have an A label by 2030. Approximately 45% of Dutch homes currently have an energy label D or lower. This means a great deal must be done in order to meet this target. It can be achieved by building extremely energy-efficient new homes and by renovating existing homes to compensate for the low energy labels.

Elze Vonk, Director Residential at Rabobank: ‘We know that 80% of homeowners would quite like to do something to make their home more energy efficient. But only a small percentage of them actually take action. Homeowners encounter obstacles, think the process is too difficult or see too few benefits in investing in energy-efficient measures. Rabobank is joining forces with Bleeve to make it easier for homeowners to enhance the sustainability of their homes. In this way we’re giving a boost to the process of making existing homes more sustainable.’

Bleeve.nl is an independent online platform that brings together private homeowners and energy-saving solutions suppliers. The homeowner completes an online HomeScan that renders a concrete recommendation for their home. The measures ensuing from the recommendation can then be carried out by the local businesses. This has a dual benefit: it successfully unites supply and demand and boosts local employment. This is why Rabobank is utilising its network to also connect business customers with the platform. Bleeve provides the affiliated businesses with high-quality leads and in doing so helps them save on marketing costs. The businesses pay a small fee to Bleeve when they actually carry out the measures.

Paul Geurts van Kessel, co-founder of Bleeve: ‘The HomeScan gives homeowners quick and easy insight into the possibilities for either saving energy or actually generating energy. We provide advice on the cost-savings, the required investments and matters such as return on investment.’

More information: www.rabobank.nl/duurzaamwonen

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Press release Tue, 20 Jun 2017 14:28:12 GMT 245508
<![CDATA[Rabo Envision Tribe established for repositioning Rabobank]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2017/20170614_creatieve-samenwerking.html?utm_medium=RSS Rabobank is, together with the Planet Bank and DoenDenkers creative coalitions, forming the Rabo Envision Tribe. Professionals from all three partners will collaborate within this tribe. Rabobank announced in early April a creative contest for the opportunity to reintroduce Rabobank to society worldwide. The basic premise was that the idea had to be disruptive and distinctive. An internal jury and a so-called lay jury both selected the two finalists.

Planet Bank is a coalition comprising Havas Lemz, Justdiggit, Wageningen University and Universal Music Group. The DoenDenkers coalition consists of Ogilvy & Mather, Blazhoffski, Styn Claessens, Capitola and Jacques Koewijden & Paul Postma. A total of 198 coalitions took part in the contest. 
 
Leendert Bikker, Director of Communications at Rabobank: ‘This innovative concept of creative collaboration is based on the belief that managing and activating the Rabobank brand is a core competence of the organisation itself. Rabobank organises creativity in-house, close to the business and with the expertise from the different special fields of communications and marketing united within one team. The aim of this is to be able to communicate faster and with greater impact. The newly established tribe forms a unique mix of competences in the areas of reputation, communications, branding and activation. This set-up enables us to bring out the best in each other and to learn from one another. Rabobank is a meaningful brand that belongs to society. This concept fits in with this and contributes to our mission and strategy.’ The first work of the Rabo Envision Tribe is expected to be presented in October. 
 
Willem van der Schoot, CEO Havas Lemz, of Planet Bank: ‘Pooled international strength is needed in order to translate Rabobank’s pronounced ambitions into a razor-sharp positioning and a high-impact movement. Forming the tribe provides the opportunity to really make the difference together and to be even more meaningful for society.
 
Edgar Molenaars, CEO of Ogilvy & Mather, adds on behalf of DoenDenkers: ‘The innovative nature of the collaboration adds an extra dimension. It’s great to join forces to shape innovation, which is to everyone’s benefit. We’re convinced this is completely in keeping with the spirit of the cooperative Rabobank. A strong commitment has been made for the coming years and so we’re very much looking forward to the future.’
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Press release Wed, 14 Jun 2017 06:25:47 GMT 245340
<![CDATA[Rabobank Global Poultry Quarterly Q2 2017: Strong Industry Performance with a Shake-up in Global Trade]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2017/20170607-rabobank-global-poultry-quarterly-q2-2017-strong-industry-performance-with-a-shake-up-in-global-trade.html?utm_medium=RSS Global poultry is currently performing well, with profitability in most regions in the world, despite the ongoing global pressure of avian influenza (AI), especially in Asia, according to Rabobank’s Global Poultry Quarterly for Q2 2017. The big exception remains China, where the negative impact of human AI cases has kept prices down.

“Global poultry trade has reached record-high levels, but trade streams have shifted,” according to RaboResearch Senior Animal Protein Analyst Nan-Dirk Mulder. “The US and, to a lesser extent, Thailand have been the winners in this trade shake-up, due to AI-related restrictions and the impacts of the ‘meat scandal’ in Brazil.”

Human AI cases in China are still spreading and impacting the market, although prices have recently recovered somewhat. A concern is the further spread of the virus in China, with recent movements to northern regions. Chinese local authorities have closed many live bird markets, and this has had a particularly big impact on the yellow-bird market. Imports are relatively unaffected, as they serve the processed meat market.

The Brazilian ‘meat scandal’ is having a significant impact on global trade. Exports from Brazil have been dropping since March (April: -23%), and this has created an additional shift in global trade streams, on top of the AI-related impact. The US has been the winner, with European exporters also taking some of the Middle East trade.

Most global markets are performing well, with a combination of strong demand, restricted supply, and ongoing low feed costs. Industries in Mexico, India, Thailand, and Japan are performing particularly well, while South Africa and the EU are on the road to recovery.

Global meat trade is highly volatile, but reached a record-high Q1 level of 3m tonnes. Aside from the changes in raw trade driven by AI, along with the meat scandal, a potentially big—but still uncertain—development could be the entry of Chinese cooked chicken into the US market.

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Press release Thu, 08 Jun 2017 15:58:04 GMT 245181
<![CDATA[PowerWindows for Rabobank]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2017/rabobank-launching-customer-for-power-window-pilot-physee.html?utm_medium=RSS Delft-based startup Physee, Rabobank, and property developer OVG are launching the PowerWindows pilot project today at the new offices of Rabobank Eindhoven. A newly developed product, PowerWindows are patented and transparent double-paned windows designed for use in the construction industry. This marks the first-ever installation in an existing commercial real-estate property in the Netherlands of power-generating windows that have no impact on the glass functionalities in the building. The redeveloped Rabobank building in the Eindhoven neighbourhood of Fellenoord is ready for the future and will now, through this ground-breaking project, contribute to a more energy-efficient future for the built environment.

PowerWindows generate solar energy without having any impact on glass functionalities of any kind, including transparency levels and insulation levels. This way, PowerWindows contributes to the process of converting office buildings, tower blocks and hotels into energy-neutral buildings by using glass, an existing building material.

Physee CEO Ferdinand Grapperhaus: ‘I am very proud that we managed to develop and implement a sustainable innovation like PowerWindows in a highly competitive industry. Our free-flowing creativity and hands-on approach, combined with the single-mindedness of all parties involved, have turned this project into a success.’

Pieter Ketting, Rabobank’s Director of Group Procurement: ‘This PowerWindows pilot project is a fine example of how Rabobank aims to work with its customers and partners to promote sustainability. If this pilot project turns out to be successful, we believe PowerWindows will play a significant role in improving the energy-efficiency of commercial real estate.’

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Press release Wed, 07 Jun 2017 16:17:51 GMT 245161
<![CDATA[Dutch economy will continue to flourish this year, despite international uncertainties]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2017/20170607-EKB.html?utm_medium=RSS After a strong 2016, the Dutch economy continues to flourish this year. Dutch GDP is forecast to grow by 2.2 percent in 2017, and 1.9 per cent next year. There are still significant geopolitical and political risks around the world, but so far the Netherlands seem relatively unaffected: exports are rising steadily. Housing investment and household consumption are driving economic growth in the Netherlands this year. The labour market continues to improve considerably, with unemployment expected to hit 4.5 percent in 2018. After 2018 however, the economic catch-up growth will likely be over. This is the message Rabobank economists published in their Economic Quarterly Report today.

Despite positive labour market figures, long-term development of disposable income in the Netherlands is cause for concern. Rabobank economist Nic Vrieselaar: “Many Dutch people experienced a drop in income during the crisis. Incomes have now been rising only modestly for quite some time, despite the fact that unemployment is falling rapidly. Wage increases in real terms have actually been much lower recently than in the first months of 2016. This could partly be because of a relatively large gap between unemployment and underemployment, as is the case in other European countries. Furthermore disposable incomes and the functioning of the labour market would benefit from a reduction in the gap between net wages and taxes on employers.”
 
Global economy: slightly more political stability
Global economic growth is expected to slightly outpace that of 2016. Rabobank economist Daniël van Schoot: “We have downwardly adjusted our forecast for the US and UK, but we expect the eurozone and China to grow faster than previously thought. We are also seeing a global recovery in commodity prices, which is mainly benefiting commodity exporters such as Russia and Brazil.”
 
But there are still serious international concerns. Van Schoot: “These are now mostly geopolitical in nature. The protectionist stance of the US seems to have softened somewhat, but policies delayed don’t necessarily mean policies denied. The developments with respect to North Korea and the influence of China could have huge consequences for US-China relations. This means that a trade war between these countries is certainly not yet off the agenda. 
 
Apart from these geopolitical concerns, the global economy appears to have stabilised, although this is largely a cyclical phenomenon. Much of the current growth is catch-up growth, which is why policymakers need to tackle global imbalances more in order to limit their braking effect on growth. By global imbalances, we specifically mean the differences in national current account balances. These differences were a major contributor to the creation of the financial crisis.” 
 
The Quarterly Economic Report is available at: www.rabobank.com/economics 
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Press release Wed, 07 Jun 2017 07:22:45 GMT 245167
<![CDATA[New top management structure at Rabobank ]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2017/20170531_top_management_structure.html?utm_medium=RSS The Rabobank Supervisory Board has decided to introduce a new top management structure. On 1 September 2017 responsibility for the day-to-day management of Rabobank will transfer from the Executive Board to a Managing Board of ten members led by current chairman of the Executive Board Wiebe Draijer. The formation of a Managing Board will bring a flatter structure, increased focus on the digital transition, and representation of more customer segments at the highest executive management level. This should result in an acceleration of Rabobank’s digital transition. The Works Council has issued a positive advice on this change. All proposed appointments are pending regulatory approval.

Wiebe Draijer: “Eighteen months ago we set out our strategic route. We’re well on track, but this adjustment will help us boost the pace of the changes at Rabobank in relation to the market and to digitalisation. In the new Managing Board, all key customer segments are represented at executive level. Group-wide attention for digitalisation and talent at the highest executive management level gives us a closer fit with the change agenda of the cooperative Rabobank.”
 
Separate directors in the Managing Board will represent four key customer segments: Retail banking and Commercial banking in the Netherlands, Wholesale Clients and Rural & Retail International worldwide. The Digital Transformation Officer will be responsible for digitalisation of service provision, innovation and Fintech across the group. The Managing Board will also include the Human Resources role to boost culture, leadership and talent development even further. Alongside the chairman, CFO and CRO, the Managing Board will also include a CIO/COO with responsibility for IT, data improvement and operations. 
 
The Rabobank Managing Board will consist of :
  • Wiebe Draijer (51) Chairman
  • Bas Brouwers (45) Chief Financial Officer  
  • Petra van Hoeken (56) Chief Risk Officer
  • Mariëlle Lichtenberg (49) Retail Banking 
  • Kirsten Konst (42) Commercial Banking 
  • Jan van Nieuwenhuizen (56) Wholesale Clients
  • Berry Marttin (51) Rural & Retail International
  • Bart Leurs (45) Digital Transformation Officer 
  • Ieko Sevinga (51) Chief Information Officer / Chief Operating Officer
  • Janine Vos (44) Chief Human Resources Officer
 
In view of the changes to their domains, Rien Nagel and Ralf Dekker are taking the opportunity to seek new career challenges outside the bank. Once their current term of office expires, they will be available for a transition period to transfer their responsibilities.
 
Ron Teerlink, chairman of the Supervisory Board: “The formation of the Managing Board is a major step towards realising Rabobank’s strategic objectives. The new members will most certainly be a great asset to the team, working together to tackle the challenges we face with ambition and great energy. On behalf of the Supervisory Board, I would like to express our extraordinary appreciation to Ralf Dekker and Rien Nagel for their achievements on behalf of the bank. Ralf made a substantial contribution to streamlining our operations and IT and took the lead in intensifying our innovative power. Rien played a leading role in the governance change at Rabobank. On 1 January 2016, 106 cooperative local banks and the central cooperative organisation at Rabobank Nederland merged into a single new cooperative Rabobank. The process to bring about this change and its impact were of immense value to the bank. We wish both gentlemen every success in their future ventures.”
 
Wiebe Draijer: “I am looking forward to moving ahead on our strategic course with a renewed and extended team. Digitalisation, innovation and HR will be given greater priority. With separate executives for our key customer segments in the Netherlands, we can further tighten our focus on improving customer service provision in combination with our identity as a bank firmly anchored in local communities and always nearby. Outside the Netherlands, we will further capitalise on the growth potential in Rural Banking and through our continued focus on F&A, we will reinforce our leading position in the F&A chain for our Wholesale clients.  As a whole, this Managing Board constitutes a multi-faceted and balanced group of people with an outstanding track record inside and outside Rabobank. I too would like to express my appreciation for the dedication, professionalism and team spirit shown by Ralf Dekker and Rien Nagel. I wish them the very best for the future.”
 
Ralf Dekker: “Although we still have quite a way to go, I’m extraordinarily proud of what was achieved during my time on the Executive Board, certainly in the field of innovation, IT and operations. I’m confident that this upward line will continue in the new structure, certainly given that IT and innovation will be so explicitly incorporated in the new Managing Board. On the personal level, the time is right for me to take up a new challenge outside Rabobank, which I find an inspiring prospect.” 
 
Rien Nagel: “The change to the executive management structure at Rabobank and the three-way split of my portfolio is a logical reason for me to seek a change of direction and to leave the bank. I’m proud of what I have achieved, together with my colleagues, on behalf of our members and our customers. I wish the new Rabobank executive team every success. It’s been a great pleasure to work so intensively with them and I will continue to follow developments with great interest. As I explore options for my professional future, I will continue to focus on entrepreneurship.”
 
Elements of this press release are considered by Rabobank as inside information relating directly or indirectly to Rabobank within the meaning of article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation (EU Regulation 596/2014) that is made public in accordance with article 17 Market Abuse Regulation. 
1) From 1 September 2017 the statutory Executive Board of Rabobank will consist of Wiebe Draijer, Bas Brouwers, Petra van Hoeken, Kirsten Konst, Jan van Nieuwenhuizen and Berry Marttin (reappointed for 4 years).]]>
Press release Wed, 31 May 2017 19:04:16 GMT 245103
<![CDATA[Industry leaders to join forces with startups to boost innovation in the Netherlands]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2017/20170530-costa.html?utm_medium=RSS Dutch industry leaders are putting forward recommendations and actions to bring about a lasting improvement in the cooperation between corporates and startups. The aim is to speed up the rate of innovation in the Netherlands. One of the actions is to make knowledge and a tool available to entrepreneurs – big and small – that want to innovate more rapidly and successfully partner with startups for that purpose. In addition, 19 Dutch corporates have committed themselves to jointly enter into more than 300 partnerships with startups in the year ahead.

These are a couple of the results of a year of collaboration and sharing knowledge and experience in the context of COSTA. COSTA, which stands for ‘collaboration between COrporates & STArtups’, was launched a year ago under the umbrella of StartupDelta with KPN CFO Jan Kees de Jager in the role of ambassador. Alongside KPN, companies of the stature of AkzoNobel, DSM, Eneco, ING, KLM, NS, Philips, Port of Rotterdam, Rabobank, Shell, Thales Nederland BV, Unilever, ANWB and ASML were at high level involved in this initiative. 
 
“The companies involved in COSTA are all prominent, innovative Dutch corporates,” says Jan Kees de Jager, ambassador of COSTA. “They all share a common guiding principle: by working with startups you can innovate faster and translate it more quickly into relevant products and services. That innovative power forms the basis for economic growth and is important for future job opportunities and welfare in the Netherlands. We invite all Dutch companies to use the knowledge and skills within COSTA to innovate further and help the Netherlands move forward.”
 
COSTA answers questions such as: How can governance help stimulate innovation with startups? How can you facilitate contact between corporate and startup? And how can a corporate offer startups more opportunities to become a supplier? 
 
Corporate Startup Readiness Tool 
One of the deliverables of Costa is a Corporate Startup Readiness Tool, which was developed by Erasmus Center of Entrepreneurship and Corporate Venturing Network. The tool is an online scan with which companies can quickly and easily assess how ready they are to enter into a successful partnership with startups. The tool contains best practices and shows what a company can do if it emerges from the scan that certain conditions for a successful partnership with startups are not or not yet present. For example, it might be necessary to communicate a clear focus on the particular area in which the company is looking for innovation and a partnership with startups. 
The Corporate Startup Readiness Tool is free of charge and can be completed online on https://readytoteamup.com. 

Connection with startups
When startups want to collaborate with corporates it is often hard for them to find the right way in. A single point of contact or address for startups is a possible solution and all the COSTA members have undertaken to set this up in their organization. A complete list of dedicated point of contacts can be found on www.vno-ncw.nl and www.mkb.nl. 

Launching customership
Innovation can accelerate when startups and corporates work together. By jointly developing a new product or service, for example, or becoming a launching customer of the startup, or facilitating the distribution of the startup’s products or services. In this context, the 15 COSTA members and four other companies (PortXL, Vopak, IBM Nederland and TNO) have committed themselves to jointly enter into more than 300 partnerships with startups within one year from May 30, 2017. 
 
COSTA partners and follow up
VNO-NCW, MKB Nederland and Corporate Venturing Network will carry on with the COSTA initiative as from today. Based on the COSTA results they are jointly going to push for strengthening innovation and the Dutch ecosystem for startups. Everything with the ultimate goals of making Dutch businesses stronger, more innovative and more flexible.
Leendert-Jan Visser, Director of Association Affairs VNO NCW and MKB Nederland: “The cooperation between large companies and start-ups is important for the innovation power of the Netherlands. We are committed to further strengthening this power and broadening it to SMEs."
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Press release Tue, 30 May 2017 00:16:49 GMT 245118
<![CDATA[Rabobank and Clingendael: ‘Economy stands stronger with circular approach’]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2017/rabobank-and-clingendael-economy-stands-stronger-with-circular-approach.html?utm_medium=RSS The Circular Economy offers an enticing prospect. By closing raw material cycles we can create a strong economy that the Earth can support.

‘But we will not achieve such an economy on our own. If we want our vision of a circular economy to thrive, we need more direction from the Netherlands and Brussels. That would also serve our geopolitical interests. A new government, and particularly the incoming ministers for the economy, climate and the environment, may therefore very well consider this an excellent issue to promote a more strategic economic and geopolitical agenda for the Netherlands,’ according to Bas Rüter, director of Sustainablility at Rabobank, and Louise van Schaik, Head of the Clingendael International Sustainability Centre, in the article published today in Trouw.

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Press release Wed, 24 May 2017 10:21:20 GMT 244975
<![CDATA[Rabobank successfully priced its first Covered Bond]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2017/20170522-covered-bonds.html?utm_medium=RSS On May 22, 2017 Rabobank successfully priced its inaugural EUR 2.5 billion dual tranche Covered Bond. Rabobank offered the Covered Bonds to institutional investors. A pan-European roadshow took place prior to the trade to introduce the Covered Bond programme to investors. Rabobank’s Covered Bonds are backed by Dutch prime residential mortgages and are assigned a (P)‘Aaa’ rating by Moody’s.

Rabobank priced a EUR 1.5 billion 7yr and a EUR 1 billion 15yr with an order book of over EUR 4 billion with over 140 different investors. Over the coming years Rabobank plans to issue one or two benchmark transactions a year under the Programme. Issuing Covered Bonds will further diversify and optimise Rabobank's funding composition, which supports the Strategic Framework of the bank. Covered Bonds provide cheaper funding and also leads to a further diversification of the investor base.
 
Information on the issue of Rabobank Covered Bonds can be found on rabobank.com/en/investors/.
 
Elements of this press release are considered by Rabobank as inside information relating directly or indirectly to Rabobank within the meaning of article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation (EU Regulation 596/2014) that is made public in accordance with article 17 Market Abuse Regulation.
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Press release Mon, 22 May 2017 17:23:49 GMT 244948
<![CDATA[Winners Announced of FoodBytes! 2017]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2017/20170519-foodbytes.html?utm_medium=RSS Koupe, Neofarms and Cerescon are the winners of FoodBytes!, a pitch competition that connects food and agriculture influencers and investors with the most disruptive startups in the industry. The awards were handed over in Wageningen, the Netherlands during the F&A Next conference, an initiative of Rabobank, Wageningen University & Research and StartLife.

More than 120 startups from around the world applied for the opportunity to pitch at FoodBytes!, which took place at food and agriculture innovation summit F&A Next at Wageningen University & Research, Netherlands. Twenty companies demonstrating innovation, scalability and social impact were chosen to compete for three awards – the Judges’ Choice Award, the People’s Choice Award and the Highly Commended Award.
 
Judges’ Choice Award: Koupe
A panel of expert judges were responsible for selecting the companies they felt best addressed  unique criteria, including scalability, product innovation, traction and social impact. Netherlands-based Koupe took home the award. Koupe has developed a healthy ice cream product, high in protein and fibre but much lower in sugar and fat than market leading products. Unlike rival healthy alternative products, Koupe uses no artificial flavours or preservatives. Koupe is carried by Dutch supermarket chain Jumbo and will begin selling in the UK through online supermarket Ocado this summer.
The start-up has won an accelerator programme course with Paris-based food accelerator ShakeUp Factory.
 
People’s Choice Award: Neofarms
F&A Next conference attendees voted for the People’s Choice Award winner via the FoodBytes! app. The award went to Neofarms, a German company that has developed a fully automated indoor greenhouse, fitted inside kitchens, that uses patented aeroponic technology.
Neofarms has won a one week start-up accelerator course with StartLife at Wageningen University & Research.
 
Highly Commended Award: Cerescon
Ten runner-up companies from the selection process were invited to deliver 60-second pitches. Judges selected a Highly Commended Award winner from the 60-second pitch companies based on the same criteria as the Judges’ Choice Award Winner. The Highly Commended Award went to Cerescon, a Netherlands-based company that has developed a robotic harvesting process for asparagus.
Cerescon has won the opportunity to appear as a finalist at FoodBytes! in Austin, Texas, in September.
 
Berry Marttin, member of the Rabobank Executive Board, said: "We were truly inspired by the range and quality of food and agriculture startups present and pitching, as well as with the large numbers of investors and corporates in the audience. To me this clearly evidences the commitment of all stakeholders to take innovation in food and agri to the next level; innovation that is much needed to deal with the challenge to provide an ever growing population with sustainable, sufficient and healthy food.”
 
Louise Fresco, president of Wageningen University & Research: “This is a unique time for the agrifood community. Great scientific advances such as robotisation and genomics lay the foundations for the bio-economy and the development of sustainable and healthy food. At Wageningen U&R we work closely with private sector partners and government to promote innovation and entrepreneurship. The second edition of F&A next is a great occasion to showcase this.”
 
Manuel Gonzalez, Global Head of F&A Innovation: “It was a great day of discovery and learning. The pitch companies’ energy and passion filled the room. FoodBytes! accomplished its mission of bringing the innovation ecosystem together and providing a voice to those finding scalable and sustainable solutions for the future of food and agriculture."
 
F&A Next was founded by Rabobank, Wageningen University & Research and StartLife. 
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Press release Fri, 19 May 2017 13:01:36 GMT 244939
<![CDATA[Rabobank: Strong price increases not only good news for housing market]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2017/20170517_housingmarket_quarterly.html?utm_medium=RSS The Dutch housing market is currently breaking all kinds of records. Never have so many houses been sold in the first quarter of the year as was the case in the first three months of 2017. With an increase of 6.8% as compared to the first quarter of 2016, house prices have also been rising strongly again. These are the views of economists at Rabobank in the Dutch Housing Market Quarterly published today.

Given the robust economic growth, rises in income, and persistently low interest rates, we expect house prices to increase by at least 6.5% this year. While the number of houses sold will reach between 225,000 and 235,000. In view of the continuing rise in house shortages and the resulting sharp price rises, it is for the new government to work together with municipalities, housing associations, commercial parties and private developers to come up with new solutions for the housing market. A crucial task here will be the construction of new affordable homes and the conversion of existing non-residential buildings into owner-occupied and rental housing properties. Many more rented homes in the medium segment in particular are badly needed. 
 
The fact that the housing market is currently breaking record after record is becoming increasingly difficult to explain merely as a catch-up effect. Housing market economist Christian Lennartz of Rabobank: ‘At present, house prices are rising at a rate that we didn’t even experience in the years before the crisis. If the housing market continues to grow at this rate and supply clearly lags behind rising demand, housing costs especially in the rental sector, but also in the owner-occupied sector, will swallow up an ever larger portion of household incomes. As a result, the accessibility of the owner-occupied housing market for first-time buyers will decline further, meaning that in the long run it will be reserved for households with a relatively high income or coming from a wealthier background. Eventually, this process will increase wealth inequality in the Netherlands.’
 
Lennartz adds: ‘This effect will be further intensified by the widening price gap between hot markets, such as Amsterdam, Utrecht and Rotterdam, and weaker housing market regions outside the Randstad. Moreover, we should not underestimate the macro-economic risks that come with surmounting private debts and increasing non-payment risks when prices increase this rapidly. Think, for example, of the stability of the financial system should house prices fall again in the future.’
 
Housing market continues to grow unabated
The number of sales in the first three months of the year reached 55,911 homes, well over 30% more than in the first quarter of 2016. At the same time as the rise in the number of transactions, the number of owner-occupied homes for sale also rose, so that shortages remained at roughly the same high level. Lennartz: ‘Looking at Statistics Netherlands’ forecast for the growth in the number of households until 2020 by an average of 62,000 per year, the pressure on the housing market is likely to become even more intense. Taking into account that around 10,000 homes are demolished each year, annual production in excess of 70,000 homes in the mid-priced rental sector as well as the owner-occupied sector will be needed simply to prevent the housing shortage from increasing any further. The new government, together with municipalities, housing associations, the commercial construction sector and private developers, must therefore rise to the challenge to build more homes. Further attention also needs to be given to the potentials of transforming more vacant commercial buildings into residential properties.’
 
The Dutch Housing Market Quarterly can be found at: www.rabobank.com/economics
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Press release Wed, 17 May 2017 10:00:47 GMT 244889
<![CDATA[Rabobank and partners commit to 100 circular action plans with entrepreneurs in 2017]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2017/rabobank-and-partners-commit-to-100-circular-action-plans-with-entrepreneurs-in-2017.html?utm_medium=RSS Rabobank, KPMG and CSR Netherlands are combining forces to stimulate circular action plans in the business sector. This partnership is helping entrepreneurs to convert from a linear to a circular business model. The partnership has been launched in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Region and its next step will be in the Arnhem-Nijmegen and the South-Holland-South regions. The aim is to realise 100 circular action plans with entrepreneurs this year.

Since 2014, Rabobank has been organising Circular Economy Challenges for companies with circular aspirations. Many entrepreneurs want to do business in a circular way but often don’t know how. In 2014, ten participating companies realised their circularity ambitions thanks to the Circular Economy Challenges. After developing more than 20 concrete, implemented action plans a year in 2015 and 2016, Rabobank and its partners now want to speed up the process. Leaders in sustainability will receive extra support so that the development of the circular entrepreneurship can be speeded up.

‘Circular entrepreneurship will be one of the mainstays of the Dutch economy in the near future. Besides helping us to respond more effectively to risks such as shortages of raw materials, it’s also an engine for innovation and cooperation,’ says Bas Rüter, Managing Director Sustainability Rabobank. ‘This cooperation with partners is the ideal way for Rabobank to help entrepreneurs in their day-to-day activities. We’re combining forces so that we can achieve more together.’

In the Rabobank Circular Economy Challenges, the circular opportunities for regions are mapped out and entrepreneurs are facilitated with a company scan and practical workshops, for example. Bernd Hendriksen, KPMG-partner Sustainability: ‘The Circular Economy Challenges are a great way of helping entrepreneurs in the Netherlands to develop their circular business cases. With our knowledge and commitment, we’re helping entrepreneurs to develop valuable ideas, new business models or activities that can help them achieve their ambitions on their way to a circular economy.’
Wim Visser, Rabo Lease: ‘Many circular business models involve investments in equipment. Leasing as a form of financing will play an important role in this. With this partnership, we’re delighted to be able to use our knowledge and experience in the sector together with the specialists from Rabo Lease.’
After taking part in this Challenge, entrepreneurs know exactly which actions they need to take in their companies and their chains. They then become examples for others. Maria van der Heijden, director CSR Netherlands: ‘This partnership is making the new economy stronger. The network, knowledge and active matchmaking skills of CSR Netherlands are helping entrepreneurs achieve their circular solutions.’

Besides these regional challenges with companies, Rabobank is also supplying entrepreneurs in the Netherlands with the Performace Indicator for Circular Business. Based on targeted questions, entrepreneurs are immediately given a scan of their companies, including concrete options for closing cycles and access to new circular revenue models. This business scan was developed by Radboud University in Nijmegen in cooperation with Rabobank.

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Press release Wed, 17 May 2017 09:00:00 GMT 244826
<![CDATA[Rabobank launches venture capital fund for innovative food & agri companies]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2017/20170515-rabobank-launches-venture-capital-fund-for-innovative-food-agri-companies.html?utm_medium=RSS Rabobank is launching the Rabo Food & Agri Innovation Fund, which is part of Rabo Private Equity. This fund plans to invest in high-potential, early-stage food and agri companies in Western Europe and in the United States. One of the objectives the bank envisions to achieve through this fund is the promotion of innovation in the food and agri space.

“The fund focuses on companies that are in support of Rabobank’s Banking for Food strategy. This strategy focuses on contributing to food security in the context of a rapidly growing world population, changing demographics and consumption patterns and an increasingly complex food system,” says Lizette Sint, Global Head of Rabo Private Equity.

“We consider investments all along the food and agri value chain, with a particular focus on ambitious companies that operate in sectors in which we can optimally leverage the bank’s knowledge and expertise, network and position to help create shareholder value,” says Richard O’Gorman, who leads the investment initiative as part of Rabo Private Equity.

This is why the fund’s investments will consist of more than just financial support. Rabobank will be a close investment partner and provide companies it selected full access to the bank’s food and agri experts and networks in order to build long term value together.

The Rabo Food & Agri Innovation Fund is complementary to the other activities the bank supports in the food and agri space, including its indirect investments in strategic venture capital and private equity funds.

For more information about the Rabobank Food & Agri Innovation Fund, please visit www.rfaif.com. If you have any questions, please contact info@raboprivateequity.nl.

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Press release Food & Agri Mon, 15 May 2017 11:08:33 GMT 244804
<![CDATA[Rabobank and Banco FIE join forces to foster rural development in Bolivia]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2017/20170511-rabobank-and-banco-fie-join-forces-to-foster-rural-development-in-bolivia.html?utm_medium=RSS Rabobank, through its subsidiary Rabo Development, and Banco FIE started a 3-year strategic cooperation focused on fostering rural development, strengthening Banco FIE’s operations and outreach, and professionalizing the agricultural value chains in Bolivia.

Rabobank, through its subsidiary Rabo Development supports Banco FIE by providing access to its (agricultural) banking knowledge, experience and networks. Rabo Development has a track record in contributing to the development of well-functioning and inclusive financial systems in emerging markets through a long-term perspective. This is accomplished by building strong locally rooted financial service providers serving (M)SMEs, the rural sector and clients who have not previously had access to financial services.

The global food and agriculture sector faces a huge challenge: how to provide a growing, aging and on average, wealthier world population with sufficient, healthy and sustainably produced food. “Rabobank’s commitment to invest and build strong financial service providers in emerging economies is in line with its Banking for Food strategy, which is aimed at providing access to its knowledge, finance and networks”, says Mr. Frank Nagel, managing director of Rabo Development.

The agricultural potential in emerging countries is significant. The Latin American region is an important net exporter of food and agricultural commodities, accounting for 16% of the total global food and agriculture exports and 4% of the total food and agriculture imports. “The region is one of the few parts of the world with significant resources of unexploited agricultural land, suggesting the region will continue to play a pivotal role in future global food production . To help unlock that potential, Rabobank aspires to provide support to financial institutions and other players in agricultural value chains worldwide to enable them to increase the production, efficiency and to become more sustainable”, according to Mr. Nagel.

The Bolivian economy is mainly based on the exploitation and export of its natural resources. Since a few years the agricultural sector has had a strong impact on the economic growth of the country. This is mainly due to technological innovations and an optimized production of soy beans, corn, sugar, rice, quinoa and chestnut. In particular quinoa and chestnut showed an increase in export due to the high quality.

In line with Bolivia’s development agenda, Banco FIE has the objective to contribute to the improvement of the economic conditions in rural zones, by promoting food security and sovereignty for the Bolivian people. The bank has introduced agricultural credit technology to support the Bolivian agricultural industry. It has also designed strategies for agricultural sub-sectors and tools for credit evaluation. Both are adjusted to the productive cycles and particular needs of the Bolivian producers. In this regard the bank focuses on reaching the smallest entities of the productive value chain, with an average credit in the sector of 6.128 USD dollars. “One of the purposes of our cooperation with Rabobank is to improve financial inclusion and food security while at the same time strengthening our organization to support these improvements sustainably”, according to Mr. Adrés Urquidi, general manager of Banco FIE.

Rabobank’s roots are in Dutch agriculture, a sector that today has an excellent reputation worldwide. The Netherlands is considered to be one of the most productive and efficient food producers in the world, often taking the lead in innovation. Despite its small size, the country is among the world’s largest exporters of agricultural products and a leader in food quality. Rabobank has played an important role in the development of Dutch agriculture and horticulture and has been leveraging its experience and expertise for international food and agri chains for decades.

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Press release Fri, 12 May 2017 16:43:21 GMT 244778
<![CDATA[Rabobank and Signicat launch Digital Identity Service Provider (DISP)]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2017/20170511-ebusiness-disp.html?utm_medium=RSS Rabobank and Signicat are entering the Dutch identity market together by providing digital services to businesses, supporting them in servicing their clients. This joint Digital Identity Service Provider (DISP) offers a range of online login, identity, signature and archiving solutions under the banner of Rabo eBusiness. It provides optimal convenience for a range of businesses, including insurance, energy and leasing companies as well as other financial services providers. It simplifies and improves the digital transformation they are under pressure to achieve.

Rabo eBusiness helps businesses to shape their online services in an easier, more reliable and efficient way to achieve higher online conversion. Consumers can log onto the merchant’s website using one of the identity services provided by Rabo eBusiness and can then, for example, sign a contract online. The platform is easy to integrate into the existing business processes using API technology. 
 
Rabobank will initially focus on five customer groups: energy, telecom and insurance companies, healthcare institutions and financial services providers. Rabo eBusiness services will make it easy for them to enable functions such as onboarding new customers, signing contracts digitally and offering a dashboard for invoices or expense claims. 
 
The market for DISPs opened on 1st April 2017 within the framework of iDIN. Alexander Zwart, responsible for Online Channels & Access at Rabobank, explains that Rabobank already has a good starting position, having: ‘Advisory skills, a large market share in the business market, operational services and a mature salesforce. In order to be able to offer technology and a high-quality and safe range of products, we have opted not to develop it ourselves, but instead to collaborate with a well-established strategic player. Signicat has a proven Digital Identity Service platform that is considered leading in the Nordics, a mature digital identity market.’
 
Signicat in turn wants to expand its presence in the Dutch market. Gunnar Nordseth, Chief Executive Officer of Signicat: ‘We have been operating for some time as an identity service provider in the Nordics and are currently expanding into other parts of Europe. The Netherlands is a strategically important market for us and a European hub that has great potential for digital identity, signature and archiving services. Collaborating with an innovative bank such as Rabobank gives us the opportunity to fulfil our ambition.’
 
The platform has been designed to grow in tandem with market demands and can consequently be expanded to include additional services. This lays the foundation for achieving Rabobank’s strategic ambition to help its customers with the digitisation of their services. 
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Press release Thu, 11 May 2017 18:52:34 GMT 244798
<![CDATA[Rabobank launches Covered Bond Programme]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2017/20170511_cb.html?utm_medium=RSS Rabobank announced a deal related roadshow to offer Covered Bonds to institutional investors. The inaugural Covered Bond will be issued under the EUR 25 billion Programme, which is backed by Dutch prime residential mortgages and is assigned a (P) Aaa rating by Moody’s. Rabobank received regulatory approval from the De Nederlandsche Bank on its Covered Bond Programme.

Rabobank plans to issue one or two benchmark transactions per year under the Programme. Issuing Covered Bonds will further diversify and optimize Rabobank's funding composition, which supports the Strategic Framework of the bank. Covered Bonds provide attractive funding for especially longer duration issues. It also leads to a further diversification of the investor base.
 
Information on the issue of Rabobank Covered Bonds can be found on 
https://www.rabobank.com/en/investors/funding/covered-bonds/index.html
 
Elements of this press release are considered by Rabobank as inside information relating directly or indirectly to Rabobank within the meaning of article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation (EU Regulation 596/2014) that is made public in accordance with article 17 Market Abuse Regulation.
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Press release Thu, 11 May 2017 10:01:45 GMT 244782
<![CDATA[Officiële start geothermieproject Trias Westland]]> https://www.rabobank.com?utm_medium=RSS Vandaag is het startschot gegeven voor het geothermieproject Trias Westland. 49 (glastuinbouw)bedrijven gaan op vier kilometer diepte boren naar warmte. Met deze aardwarmte verwarmen de Westlandse bedrijven straks hun kassen en gebouwen op een duurzame manier en tegen een stabiele kostprijs. Deze diepe boring is een primeur in Nederland. Eind april zijn de contracten getekend. De voorbereidende werkzaamheden op de boorlocatie aan de Lange Broekweg in Naaldwijk zijn inmiddels gestart.

In de Westlandse bodem is volop duurzame energie te vinden. De aardbodem bevat natuurlijke waterhoudende grondlagen; hoe dieper, hoe warmer het water in de aarde is. Het hete water kan worden opgepompt en met een warmtewisselaar worden overgedragen aan een warmtenet, zodat het water naar de afnemers verspreid kan worden. Na gebruik wordt het afgekoelde water terug de aarde in gepompt en door de aardkern weer opgewarmd. Dankzij een aansluiting op aardwarmte hoeven telers veel minder aardgas te gebruiken. Bovendien is aardwarmte eeuwig beschikbaar en het gebruik leidt tot fors minder CO2-uitstoot in Greenport Westland. Ook verbetert de luchtkwaliteit, omdat er minder stikstof wordt uitgestoten en neemt de afhankelijkheid van fossiele brandstoffen af.

De boring, die plaats zal vinden aan de Lange Broekweg in Naaldwijk ter hoogte van de Zandheullaan, is een uniek en innovatief project in Nederland. Eerdere boringen in Nederland gingen namelijk tot circa 2,5 kilometer diepte in de zogenaamde Onderkrijtlaag. Trias Westland onderzoekt of genoeg warm water te winnen is op vier kilometer diepte uit de Trias-aardlaag. Een proefboring moet aantonen of de beoogde warmte ook daadwerkelijk aanwezig en winbaar is om alle deelnemende bedrijven te kunnen aansluiten op aardwarmte. Als blijkt dat de Trias-aardlaag niet geschikt is om voldoende warmte te winnen, wordt een tweede reguliere aardwarmteboring uitgevoerd op circa 2,5 kilometer diepte en kan een deel van de bedrijven worden aangesloten.

De werkzaamheden op de boorlocatie zijn inmiddels gestart. Direct omwonenden zijn hierover geïnformeerd. De kassen op de boorlocatie worden momenteel verwijderd. In juni wordt de conductor geplaatst; een soort beschermhuls voor de boring. In de zomer vinden de voorbereidende grondwerkzaamheden plaats. Er worden o.a. meer dan tweehonderd heipalen aangebracht om de boortoren te kunnen dragen, waarna de toren wordt opgebouwd. In het najaar vindt de eerste boring plaats die ongeveer honderd dagen zal duren. Ook de tweede boring duurt ongeveer honderd dagen. Naar verwachting kunnen in de zomer volgend jaar de eerste bedrijven op het warmtenet worden aangesloten. De boortoren wordt geleverd door KCA Deutag en een aantal belangrijke services door Schlumberger. De bovengrondse installaties worden gemaakt door VB Geo Projects.

Dit is een project van en voor de telers. Krachtig is dat zij via een eigen coöperatie samenwerken met elkaar én met grote regionale partijen. Voor de aansluiting op het warmtenet betalen zij jaarlijks een vast bedrag op basis van werkelijke kosten. De warmte nemen zij af tegen werkelijke kosten, waarbij zij profiteren van eventuele meevallers. Wat zij niet gebruiken kunnen ze onderling verhandelen; zo kunnen ze de kosten laag houden en de warmtebron optimaal benutten. Na vijftien jaar is de Westlandse warmtecoöperatie volledig eigenaar van het geothermiebedrijf.

Trias Westland is een initiatief van HVC, Capturam en Royal FloraHolland en wordt gerealiseerd in samenwerking met gemeente Westland, de Rabobank en BNG Bank. Deze partners hechten groot belang aan duurzaamheid en zien geothermie als een belangrijk duurzaam alternatief voor aardgas. Doordat de winbare warmte in dit project zo groot is, maken de partners aardwarmte bereikbaar voor een grote groep glastuinbouwondernemers. Het project draagt in belangrijke mate bij aan de duurzaamheids- én economische doelstellingen van Greenport Westland en wordt ondersteund vanuit de Westland Agenda II. De Rabobank brengt veel kennis en ervaring met geothermieprojecten in; van de vijftien geothermieprojecten in Nederland heeft de Rabobank er dertien gefinancierd.

De Rabobank en BNG Bank brengen samen de bancaire financiering in. Bij Trias Westland zijn zowel Rabobank Westland (ondersteuning vanuit het DIT-fonds voor de eerste boring) als Rabobank Project Finance betrokken. Deze ‘tak’ adviseert bij en structureert (complexe) projectfinancieringstransacties. BNG Bank richt zich al sinds haar ontstaan in 1914 op duurzaamheid. De bank steunt overheidsbeleid door op basis van haar AAA-ratings goedkope financiering te verstrekken en is een belangrijke financier van de verduurzaming van maatschappelijk vastgoed en de energietransitie in Nederland. Trias Westland is het tweede geothermieproject dat door BNG Bank wordt gefinancierd. Uniek is dat dit project is gefinancierd op basis van ‘non-recourse projectfinanciering’. Dat wil zeggen: een lening waarbij de bank uitsluitend recht heeft op terugbetaling uit de opbrengsten van het project, zonder aansprakelijkheid van aandeelhouders of derden. Daarom hebben de banken de techniek en financiering van het project Trias Westland vooraf zeer grondig onderzocht.

Verder is gebruik gemaakt van financiële regelingen die beschikbaar zijn gesteld door het Ministerie van Economische Zaken. De reguliere regelingen voor geothermie, SDE+ en RNES-garantie, gelden ook voor Trias Westland. De doorboring naar de Trias-laag wordt uitgevoerd, rendabel gemaakt en verzekerd met Topsector Energiesubsidie (DEI) en een GreenDeal garantie (€ 3,6 mln.). Ook de provincie Zuid-Holland heeft aan dit project bijgedragen via het programma Kansen voor West, bedoeld om de regionale economie in de Randstad een innovatieve impuls te geven. Het programma wordt voor een belangrijk deel gefinancierd door het Europees Fonds voor Regionale Ontwikkeling (EFRO).

Dit persbericht is verstuurd door Trias Westland.

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Press release Thu, 11 May 2017 08:17:28 GMT 244775
<![CDATA[Next-generation food and agri firms to pitch at FoodBytes! at F&A Next]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2017/20170504-fanext.html?utm_medium=RSS Twenty start-ups from across the global food and agriculture industries are gearing up to pitch at Rabobank’s pitch competition-meets-networking event FoodBytes!

 
“F&A Next’s previous winners have gone on to enjoy success, like Phenospex, which is now in discussions with venture capital funds after being part of our event in 2016. We’re confident this year’s event will provide a similar springboard for the businesses which most impress our judges.”
 
Prizes for the winners include acceleration programmes by ShakeUpFactory and StartLife, as well as introductions to Rabobank’s global network of corporate and retail clients.
 
The ten companies that will pitch at FoodBytes! at F&A Next are:
  • Novihum Technologies GmbH –  Producer of a nutrient-rich permanent humus granulate made from lignite that improves poor and degraded soils, leading to plant yield increases of 10-50% (based in Dresden, Germany).
  • FruitsApp – Providing an intelligent marketplace for the fresh produce industry (based in Rome, Italy).
  • Koupe – Providing a high protein, healthier, and smart alternative to conventional ice cream (based in Loenen, Netherlands).
  • Si Technologies International B.V. – A business that helps smallholder farmers to optimise crop yields under stressful circumstances (based in Rotterdam, Netherlands).
  • FoodNotify – A SaaS-based cloud solution and corresponding app tailored to manage all administrative areas in the HoReCa industry (based in Vienna, Austria).
  • Hey Like Wow – The company's aim is to develop the leading, most trusted global soft drinks brand in the sugar-free, preservative-free, drinks market (based in Essex, UK).
  • arc-net – Start-up arc-net connects every step of a product’s journey to deliver supply chain transparency and product security (based in Belfast, UK).
  • Connecting Food – A start-up that develops and sells an innovative technology solution, based on blockchain and food, that certifies in real time food compliance (based in Paris, France).
  • Multi Tool Trac – Building the first electric tractor that saves the soil (based in Almelo, Netherlands)
  • Neofarms -  A start-up developing a fully automated indoor greenhouse able to produce family sized salads and greens with a home appliance the size and form of a fridge that can be integrated in any kitchen or living space (based in Hannover, Germany).
In addition to hosting the San Francisco pitching format FoodBytes! for matching innovative concepts in food and agriculture with the capital needed to bring it to market, F&A Next focusses on the convergence of food and health and the gradual shift to ‘smart’ farming, addressing the requirements of global farmers, innovators, and investors.
 
In addition to the ten finalists, ten runner-up companies (one last runner-up will be announced shortly) have been selected to deliver 60-second pitches. They are: 
Investors and food and agri companies interested in attending the conference can register at www.fanext.com.
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Press release Thu, 04 May 2017 09:16:21 GMT 244704
<![CDATA[Rabobank: Global Pork Quarterly Q2 2017: Favourable Global Pork Market to Continue into Q3]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2017/20170424-pork-quarterly.html?utm_medium=RSS The global pork market is relatively stable, with rising supply from the Americas easily absorbed in the main import markets in Asia, resulting in a steady development of the Rabobank Five-Nation Hog Price Index. Continuing strong Asian imports are supporting pork prices across the globe, with the supply volume in each region determining the actual level. This is according to the Rabobank Global Pork Quarterly Q2.

“The overall outlook is positive right now”, says Justin Sherrard, Global Strategist Animal Protein at Rabobank. “The demand market will continue throughout Q2, supporting margins along the supply chain”.

Highlights from the Pork Quarterly Q2 2017 include:

China: production relocation continues

The steady, regulatory driven relocation of pork production will support good price levels and stabilise imports in the coming months. Local supply will start to recover in Q3, with investments of recent years coming on-stream and reaching their potential.

EU: elevated prices due to pressured supply

The European pig market is booming, with rapidly rising prices due to pressured supply. This situation will continue towards summer, with record piglet prices during Q1. Exports remain the wild card for the market’s price top, with high prices limiting the competitive position and resulting returns.

US: export to determine price level

The forecast 4% increase in pork production in 2017 is the driving force in the US pork industry. With consumption moving to record levels, exports will determine the final price level. Current low prices are supportive and also challenge supply from the main export competitor, the EU.

Brazil: limited impact of scandal on exports

Brazil is steadily growing its position in pork export markets, with rising volumes flowing into all main destinations, especially China. The recent meat scandal has had little, if any, impact on export volumes and related prices.

The rise of pork concepts

“Over the last decade, pork production systems have diversified in many countries, with a commodity focus making way for more specialised production.” says Justin Sherrard. The report provides an analysis of the development of pork concepts and their implications for the supply chain going forward.

Volume and price drivers are changing

The global pork industry was relatively straightforward for many years, i.e. produce as much pork as possible and sell it to the highest bidder globally. Productivity, volume, and price of an increasingly ‘lean’ product were the key variables. This resulted in an interchangeable commodity product and growing competition.

This traditional production approach is, however, changing, in response to some consumers’ concerns around animal welfare, human health, and the environment. In addition, some farmers were not happy with the volume and price ‘squeeze’. Furthermore, food safety scandals increased retail and foodservice demand for improved product tracking & tracing. This is not only observed in the developed world, but—due to social media—also increasingly in the cities in the developing world.

Pork concepts are emerging

These factors resulted in the development of new production systems, or concepts. Concepts differ from traditional production systems and each other, with specific requirements regarding animal health, human health/healthy eating, food safety, medicine use, etc., or are produced for a specific retailer/foodservice supplier. Initiators are farmers looking for a steadier and (hopefully) a higher margin, slaughterhouses safeguarding sales channels, or retailers setting up dedicated supply chains to have 100% tracking & tracing or for specific niches.

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Press release Tue, 25 Apr 2017 10:03:29 GMT 244569
<![CDATA[Overwhelming response to our call for creativity]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2017/overweldigend-aantal-aanmeldingen-voor-creatieve-oproep-rabobank.html?utm_medium=RSS No less than 198 coalitions have responded to our call for creative concepts. These coalitions exhibited inspiration, imagination and used surprising creative angles.

Leendert Bikker: ‘Coalitions from all over the Netherlands and some from other countries responded to our call. I have been truly impressed by the extensive commitment to Rabobank’s mission. It’s wonderful to see that so many different creative coalitions passionately want to dedicate themselves to increasing welfare and prosperity in the Netherlands and Banking for Food. Our call for creative concepts signalled the start of our quest for distinctive coalitions and we’re extremely pleased with the vast variety of submissions we have received. That is why we will get to work with the selected coalitions as soon as possible.’

Dorkas Koenen: ‘Due to the high quality of the submissions we have selected five coalitions and decided to give away two wild cards. So seven coalitions will now move forward to the next phase. When making the selection we looked for unconventional and distinctive coalitions that introduced an inspiring angle and motivation for responding to our call for creative concepts. We also took into consideration whether the coalition had international potential and if the submission was feasible into account when making our decision.’

Based on our criteria, we selected the following five coalitions and two wildcards:

  • Culturing earth comprimised of: Thonik, MVRVD, Makkink&Bey, Ine&Sanne
  • DoenDenkers comprised of: Ogilvy&Social.Lab Amsterdam, Blazhoffski, Paul Postma, Styn Claessens, Ester Gould & Sarah Sylbing and Silke Tijkotte (Flora Holland)
  • Het Kartel compromised of: Top Notch records, SPEC artist management, This that+the other and CCCP
  • Planet bank compromised of: Dennis Karpes (Justdiggit), Ronald Hutjes (Alterra), Willem van der Schoot (Havas Lemz) and Yannick Bolloré (Havas Group)
  • Coalitie &Samhoud compromised of: &Samhoud Consultancy, &Samhoud Media, &Samhoud Places, &Ranj, The Virtual Reality Cinema, Stakeholderwatch, RTL, het Balletorkest & Pool.
  • Wildcard: The world is our canvas: a coalition of storytellers
  • Wildcard: Open minds for Rabobank: a coalition compromised of a Behaviour change group, Open Now, Young Talent Rabobank, Board of experienced minds

The next phase

All seven coalitions will be given a live briefing on Rabobank’s positioning and the business challenges that they must address on Friday 21st April. The seven coalitions will present their plans on 11th May. At that time Rabobank and an external jury will select the two coalitions that will have the opportunity to move forward to the next phase of the collaboration. These two concepts will subsequently be tested in the market and among customers. The definitive and final presentations will be made on 23rd May. On 29th May the final decision will be made by the Executive Board.

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Press release Wed, 19 Apr 2017 17:00:00 GMT 244514