Auteur: Grietje Varwijk, Studiereiscommissie
Rabobank Canada hosts the bank’s Young Rabo (Jong Rabo) group
Author: Marc Drouin and Marijke Klaver
Rabobank Canada had the pleasure of hosting part of the bank’s Young Rabo (Jong Rabo) group during the week of October 8th supported by Berry Marttin, Managing Board Member responsible for the international Rural & Retail domain.
Young Rabo & Banking for Food
Young Rabo is an organization of 1500 Rabobank employees under the age of thirty six. Each year forty Young Rabo members are selected from across the bank to participate in a field research trip which takes place in a country in which Rabobank has operations. A different research theme is selected annually. This year's theme, in collaboration with the bank's Kickstart Program, was banking for food with a focus on packaging and food waste.
Rabobank Canada hosted and supported the group over a three day period during which a series of presentations, workshops, activities and client visits focusing on this year's research theme were explored and expanded upon.
Kick-off on October 9th
Rabobank Canada General Manager Robert Sinescu kicked off the first day's program with a warm welcome and comprehensive overview of the bank's operations in Canada and North America, followed by Xinnan Li, who provided the group with an outline of FAR in North America, including her area of focus, Supply Chain. Breakout workshops were then hosted by Rabobank Canada Relationship Managers Raj Joshi, Kimberley Fobert and Marc Drouin, focusing on water usage reduction in the animal protein sector, food waste reduction in the retail sector and waste stream reduction in the dairy sector. Additional presentations and discussion groups were hosted by Marijke Klaver (Business Manager to Regional CEO Paul Beiboer) and Guus Hovius (Credit Analyst and Business Development Toronto office), further exploring Rabobank's operations in North America and outlining the Kickstart Waste initiatives in our region and Wholesale Banking practice in Canada. Day one concluded with an interactive discussion and presentation by the Dutch Consulate.
Client visit to Ice River Springs
The second day's program included a client visit to bottled water manufacturer Ice River Springs, an important bank client that is globally recognized as a leader in the production of 100% recycled PET bottles. Ice River processes and converts 450,000 PET bottles each hour in a closed loop system that re-uses PET as much as fifteen times. Young Rabo, RM Marc Drouin, Guus Hovius and Marijke Klaver enjoyed an extensive discussion & presentation with Ice River's senior management team centered on bottled water consumption, Canadian versus European consumer preferences and approaches to recycling, followed by a plant tour. As part of the discussion and pursuant to the launch of the bank's Kickstart Program, Ice River Springs and the Rabo team discussed ways in which the bank can support Ice River's commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainable production.
Ice River Springs' Sustainability Manager Crystal Howe commented, "We really enjoyed your joyful, energetic group. You are all a breath of fresh air."
SunOpta & DLL
Day three's program included a client visit, along with RM Raj Joshi and Guus Hovius, to SunOpta, Canada's largest organics and non-GMO food ingredients manufacturer. Discussion topics included consumer preferences, market characteristics and positive growth trends in the organics food sector. The company elaborated on its growth ambitions in the North American & European organics markets and particularly appreciated Young Rabo's keen interest in discussing the unique characteristics of the organics market in Europe.
Day three concluded with a group visit to DLL Canada's office. Discussions were focused on general market conditions and supporting cooperation between Rabobank and DLL in Canada.
Finally, Rabobank Canada organized a traditional Canadian Thanksgiving dinner for the Young Rabo team on Thursday night.
Young Rabo will meet on November 9th to reflect on the trip and to present their findings on the research theme, including differences between Canada and The Netherlands on specific topics. The group was also requested to provide suggestions on how Rabobank Toronto and its clients can increasingly contribute to Kickstart. Rabobank Toronto is compiling a video about the office, their clients and Banking for Food, which ends in daring another international office to share its Kickstart initiatives. After all, we Grow A Better World Together!