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Partners in making agricultural production chains sustainable.
Thursday, 7th April 2011
Source : Rabobank
Rabobank and the World Wildlife Fund are entering into a new partnership focused on international food and agriculture chains.

The objective is to make these chains sustainable by conducting joint projects. As an internationally leading food & agribank, Rabobank will contribute its financial and other knowledge of these sectors. The WWF will provide its expertise relating to ecosystems and their recovery.

Solutions for feeding a growing world population
In 2050, nine billion people will have to share a planet that is now already being exploited beyond its limits. If nothing changes, we will by that time need nearly three planets to meet our consumption needs. Based on their shared sense of urgency, Rabobank and the WWF are committed to developing solutions for feeding a growing world population, protecting natural resources and contributing to responsible working conditions within the earth's ecological limits.

The partnership will initially concentrate specifically on international food & agri-related companies. Treating natural raw materials and resources carefully and responsibly is vital within the food and agricultural chains. The WWF and Rabobank will set up projects that will demonstrate that sustainable enterprise genuinely produces (economic) added value for both the environment and local populations and companies and financiers active within food and agricultural chains in sectors such as sugarcane, cacao and fishery.

Achieving greater sustainability
Integrated chain management is becoming increasingly important with a view to achieving greater sustainability. Individual companies have already proven in practice that it is possible to reduce the footprint of agricultural products. The amount of water required to produce sugarcane can, for example, be reduced through more efficient irrigation, education and training in the field of cultivation methods.  Rabobank will second one of its employees to WWF in order to select good projects and to assess their feasibility.

Rabobank Executive Board Chairman Piet Moerland: ‘The WWF and Rabobank both strive to achieve a sustainable environment. We have already demonstrated this shared commitment through our joint participation in the Dutch Greentech Fund, through which we make equity investments in green innovative companies, and via the sounding board role the WWF performed in relation to the formulation of Rabobank's Food & Agribusiness principles. This partnership between a financial institution and an NGO, with the aim of setting an example for other participants in the production chain with respect to the concrete effects of sustainable enterprise in practice, is unique.

Johan van de Gronden, Director of the WWF in the Netherlands: ‘Protecting nature reserves is today inextricably linked to human behaviour. Our choices as consumers determine the chances of survival of threatened ecosystems, which are in turn crucial for life on earth. Nature conservation consequently only works by establishing that connection and by ensuring the sustainability of the entire chain from raw material to plate. This is why having a partner such as Rabobank is invaluable for WWF.'
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