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A forum for farmers to make a real difference

Rabobank’s Client Council network was set up to bring farmers together. There are five Rabobank Client Councils, covering the country. Each is made up of leading Rabobank clients.

At their meetings, issues facing the agricultural sector are considered, and ideas are exchanged. These lead to initiatives, strategies and ideas that will advance farming and rural communities: from improving industry capability to narrowing the rural / urban divide, from health and wellbeing to the environment. And more.

Rabobank New Zealand Client Council
Our Councils cover a lot of ground, they speak their minds on economic, social, environmental, cultural issues and more.
Client Councils help us understand the real issues that are important to you, rural communities and wider industry.

Please watch the video to see how Rabobank’s Client Councils are having a positive effect.

Catch up on the latest from Rabobank’s Client Councils.
Our regular newsletter covers the latest Rabobank Client Council initiatives. Take a look at what’s happening around the different regions.

For the latest update on initiatives from Rabobank Client Councils around New Zealand.

Read our latest newsletter

Client Council themes

Rabobank Sustainability

Long-term industry capacity

Attracting and retaining new people has always been an ongoing challenge for agriculture. We aim to create better awareness of the various career opportunities and exciting pathways available to the industry.

We also support young farmers with a range of workshops and mentoring initiatives designed to improve their skills in a number of areas to help them advance their agricultural careers.

Rabobank Sustainability


Environmental compliance, water availability, water quality, erosion and waste management are all important factors to keeping farms sustainable. Our goal is to identify the main issues and how we can support our clients.

We also provide a platform for our clients to share best practices.

Rabobank Rural / Urban Divide

Rural / Urban divide

There is often unbalanced communication causing misconceptions of farming practices impacting on farming’s reputation.

We aim to increase awareness of modern farming practices and food production with urban audiences by organising and supporting initiatives that bridge the rural / urban divide.

Rabobank Rural  Health

Rural health

Access to health care, denial of health issues and the need for early identification of mental health issues are some of the challenges faced by rural communities.

Together with our clients, we aim to increase awareness of the importance of farmers’ well-being.

Client Council initiatives

Food X Programme

First held in 2019, The Rabobank FoodX programme is attended by year 12 & 13 students from Canterbury High schools across the Canterbury region. Students on the programme are nominated by their school career adviser and are predominantly from schools which do not offer agriculture as part of the curriculum.

The programme, run in conjunction with Lincoln University and the New Zealand Young Farmers, exposes participants to animals, food production, food marketing, agribusiness and science and includes visits to a range of agribusiness operations.

Find out more

The Rabobank FoodX programme

Waikato Agri Leadership Programme

The Waikato Agri Leadership programme was developed in 2015 by the Waikato Client Council who felt more needed to be done to ensure school leavers were aware of the range of careers available in the sector.

The programme has now run annually since 2016 and is attended by year ~30 year 12-13 students from a range of Waikato, Auckland and Northland High Schools. Students are selected to take part in the programme based on their academic performance, leadership attributes and career aspirations.

The four day live in programme at Waikato University includes visits to a number of local farming operations and leading agricultural businesses as well as presentations from key NZ agribusiness leaders.

Find out more

Waikato Agri Leadership Programme

Ag Pathways

The Ag Pathways programme was developed in 2015 to upskill young people involved in the agri sector and has run annually in the years since.

More than 80 young farmers have now been involved in the programme which provides them with the opportunity to improve their skills in a number of areas as well as the opportunity to expand their networks and to mix with the established council members/farmers taking part.

The two day event includes a number of sessions facilitated by Rabobank and external subject matter experts. The sessions are split up into three key themes: Managing People, Managing Business and Managing Land.

Following attendance at the event, a number of the participants have significantly advanced their agricultural careers since attending the event including advancing family farm succession plans, leasing properties, starting farm contracting businesses and share milking businesses.

Rabobank Ag Pathways programme

Horowhenua Taste trail

As part of its efforts to tackle the urban /rural divide, the Lower North Island Client have been proud supporters of the Horowhenua Taste Trail since its inception. The Trail was first run in 2017 and is an annual adventure through Horowhenua’s specialist food producers.

The event celebrates the richness and diversity of all that is produced in the bite sized district. The Horowhenua Taste Trail provides attendees with the opportunity to get behind the scenes with a range of local food producers to learn more about their operations as well as the chance to sample delicious fresh produce.

Rabobank’s Lower North Island Client Council is proud to support the Horowhenua Taste Trail as the event provides a great opportunity for the public to learn more about food production.

Find out more

Horowhenua Taste trail

Big Day Out with Agri

The Central North Island Client Council Teachers Big Day Out initiative started in 2017 showcasing agriculture careers on-and off-farm to Rotorua secondary school Careers Advisors. The event was a huge success with all Careers Advisors rating the day 5/5. John Paul College career advisor Sheryl Hewitson commented “The day was the best educational day they have had showcasing agri careers”.

The day began with a short presentation and introductions at the Rabobank Rotorua office then on to a bus stopping at a dairy property, kiwifruit orchard, Comvita Honey, Balance Agri-Nutrients with the final stop being Zespri Head Office At each stop all career options were discussed to give Careers Advisors first hand examples of the opportunities on offer.

Since the initial event several secondary students have been in contact with industry participants and have gone on to further study in the sciences that will open potential opportunities within the agriculture space.

Teachers Big Day Out
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