Rabobank is proud to announce Kickstart Food: a three-year programme to kick-start the transition to a more sustainable food and agricultural sector.
With our knowledge, networks and financial solutions, over the next three years we will intensify our efforts to help our clients and partners develop and scale innovations across the food value chain: from farm to fork.
Together we will change the way we grow, distribute and eat our food in order to nourish everyone while respecting planetary boundaries and allowing agricultural businesses to make a decent living.
Food & agriculture sector under pressure
The world’s population is growing. Rapidly. By 2050 we will have two billion more mouths to feed. And because we are living longer and getting wealthier each of us will want and need more to eat. A lot more.
Our increasing demand for food is putting a lot of strain on the environment. And on farmers, and the people that prepare and deliver our food.
We need to radically rethink how we produce, process and consume our food. And we have less than a generation to do it.
This is an enormous challenge. But it’s a challenge that we can meet. Every day we see our clients and partners coming up with new ways of producing more nutritious food with a lower environmental impact. New ways of reducing waste, and new ways that we can bring more stability to the food value chain.
Through Kickstart Food, we will use our knowledge, networks and financial solutions to increase support to our clients and partners working to improve the environmental and social sustainability of the food and agricultural sector. We will concentrate our efforts on four key areas:
- Earth: restoring the soil quality of the current arable land around the world as a prerequisite to produce more food with less impact on the environment (read more)
- Waste: reduce food waste throughout the entire food value chain (read more)
- Stability: promote and stimulate a more stable and resilient food and agricultural sector (read more)
- Nutrition: balance the nutritional value of our diets (read more)
First Kickstart: Earth
We are starting with Earth. Soil is the foundation on which the food and agricultural sector rests, on which life itself depends. Today over 50% of the soil on agricultural land around the world is degraded.
We have been working with clients and partners like the World Wildlife Fund to promote solutions such as integrated crop, livestock and forestry farming that can help restore and sustain the soil while increasing crop yields. Through Kickstart Earth we will scale up these and similar efforts around the world.
As a first step, we are extremely proud to announce a new partnership between Rabobank and UN Environment. Together we will create a one billion dollar facility. This facility will provide grants, de- risking instruments and loans to clients who adhere to strict provisions for forest protection, restoration and the involvement of smallholders.
By 2030, we aim to have 100% of our clients certified according to accepted sustainability certification schemes that include soil management practices. Via Rabobank Foundation we will intensify our activities to promote, facilitate and finance sustainable farming practices among smallholder farmers as well.
By farmers, for farmers
Rabobank was founded in the Netherlands as a cooperative bank in 1898: by farmers, for farmers. Together with the rest of the food and agricultural sector, we have been evolving for almost 120 years. Today we serve farmers, growers, processors, packagers and distributers across the entire food value chain: from farm to fork, all around the world. Our clients include some of the world’s biggest companies, but also smallholder farmers and ambitious ‘agtech’ startups.
We are deeply rooted in the food and agribusiness. And the communities they support. That is why we are committed to tackling the world’s food problem. And why we are confident that together we can grow a better future.
Only by working together can we make the transition to a sustainable future, as set out in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This is about our business. But more importantly, it is about our common future.
As the leading food and agricultural bank in the world, we are committed to leading the transition to a sustainable food and agricultural sector. But we cannot do it on our own. We are proud to work with international partners like the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, UN Environment, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the World Wildlife Federation. But also with our clients, local communities, government agencies and civil society.
Through the Kickstart Food programme we will seek out and forge partnerships with new stakeholders from across the food value chain around the world. Only by working together can we meet the challenge of nourishing everyone while respecting planetary boundaries and allowing agricultural businesses to make a decent living.
Only together can we grow a better world!