Rabobank Internationale increased focus on the Food and Agribusiness (F&A) sector may present sorme major challenges in the short term, but this is far outweighed by the opportunities created by combining the enormous amount of in-house F&A expertise and market knowledge across the bank. One example is the enormous poten- tial created for Rl clients through the combined strength of Rabobank Foundation, Rabo Devel- opment and Rl. With sustainability fast becoming an essential part of supply chain management, an increasing number of Rabobank International's F&A clients fïnd themselves confronted with the need to take into account complex environmental and social practices. This in turn is creating a growing demand for clear insight into the value chain, especially at the level of the millions of small farmers and farmer organisations that produce the bulk of the commodities essential to their business. "It's often a big challenge for our clients to work with the beginning of their supply chain, the small farmers and local cooperatives," says Anke van Kempen, Corporate Social Responsibility Advisor at Rabobank International. "As it is not their core business, they often seek expertise and networks with the farmers and local cooperatives. That's where Rabobank Foundation (RF) can add enormous value, with its decades of experience in this field. RF can help RI's clients to improve the sustainability, transparency and control of their value chain and improve the quantity and quality of the products essential to the continuity of their business." A key element of this equation is RF's cooperation with Rabo Development's (RD) network of local banks. RF works with local farmers and smallholders to improve the organisation of their cooperative and set up a viable business model. "So the Foundation supports the farmers and their cooperatives at the grass roots level, but in the long run these cooperatives will stili need a bank for their financing, certainly as their production and income increases. RD's local banks are the ideal candidates for this support, given their local knowledge and branch network. In an ideal situation, RI's clients themselves would also share their technical, agronomic and marketing expertise with the local farmers," says Albert Boogaard, Programme Manager for Rabobank Foundation in Africa. ISSUE 20 THE WORD

Rabobank Bronnenarchief

blad 'RI The Word / The Word' (EN) | 2009 | | pagina 31