As the leading global food and agriculture bank, Rabobank not only finances food and agribusiness, but also shares knowledge and builds networks throughout the entire value chain.
Rabobank is to host the Round Table on Responsible Soy’s annual RT14 conference, which takes place at their Head Officein Utrecht, The Netherlands over 11-12 June 2019. By hosting RT14 Rabobank hopes the meeting facilitate the multi-stakeholder dialogue needed to encourage a truly sustainable food supply worldwide.
We spoke to Mr. Berry Marttin, a member of the Rabobank Managing Board, about RT14 and the bank’s commitment to sustainable agriculture.
Why is it important to Rabobank that the world works towards a sustainable food chain with crops such as soy?
“By 2050, our planet will have nearly 10 billion mouths to feed. To meet growing demand, we’re going to have to produce a lot more food, while staying within planetary boundaries. Servicing the entire chain, we have a responsibility to support the sector in making the future of food environmentally and economically viable.
“Soy is one of the most widely traded food commodities in the world, so a successful RT14 can have real impact.”
What does it mean for Rabobank to be an RTRS Member?
“As a member of the RTRS Executive Board, we take an active role in shaping the RTRS’s strategies and realising its ambitions. Our goals reflect the shared need not only to encourage responsible soy production, but also to shift market demand in that direction. RTRS is considered the gold standard of sustainable soy certification, and we are proud to have a seat at the table.”
What is the role of banking and financial services to affect change in sustainability?
“Rabobank brings finance, networks and knowledge to the table. Each of these assets can help farmers, food and agribusinesses make the transition to more future-proof farming and food production. We are in a unique position to bring stakeholders together to make the shift toward a sustainable food system a reality.”
What is your personal interest in sustainable soy?
“Making sure we feed the world in a future-proof manner is an aspiration close to my heart. I was born and raised in Brazil, and travel widely in my current role. I have met countless farmers – with more and less sustainable practices. I have seen first hand the impact of different modes of production.”
What do you expect for RT14? “RTRS made huge strides in 2018, with increased market demand, but we are not yet there. Looking ahead, I expect to see ambitious yet realistic outcomes that further reflect the need to move the global soy market towards responsible production, processing and trading.
“The urgency of our task is clear, though it is also key to be realistic about available resources. All stakeholders are part of the solution together: We must aim high, innovate, and be concrete in our actions and solutions.”
From your professional role, what would you implement to achieve the change? “I would like to see the cost of environmental impact reflected fairly in all commodities. Ten years from now I’d like to see companies not only get a credit rating, but also an ‘e-rating’ (environmental rating) which would encourage farmers and consumers alike to make more sustainable choices.
“It will take a lot of work and cooperation, but I strive to do my part.”