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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 four 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.

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.

Client Council themes

Rabobank Sustainability

Long-term industry capacity and agricultural education

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 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.

Rabobank Global Farmers platform

Adaption / Disruption

Proactively reacting to industry and regional change, for example regarding emerging alternative proteins. We aim to dive deeper into the challenges in the ever changing agricultural sector.

Client Council initiatives

Financial Skills Workshops

An initiative of our Client Councils, Rabobank’s Financial Skills Workshops were developed to enhance farmers financial literacy skills and advance their agricultural careers.

Following a pilot in Taupo in mid-2021, successful workshops ran in the Lower South Island in late 2021 and further workshops are now being planned for other regions throughout 2022.

Facilitated by Lawrence Field (Rural Field Consultants), the one day workshop covers sessions on financial skills, reading financial statement, key ratios and calculations and what banks are looking for when assessing a farm business.

The workshops are open to the rural community including clients and non-clients. Across New Zealand and Australia, the bank and its network of Client Councils are aiming to put 5,000 primary producers through Financial Skills workshops by 2025.

Find out more Register your interest

Growing Future Farmers

Growing Future Farmers is a structured two-year educational course which provides graduates with specialised agricultural industry training and development opportunities.

The idea for the Programme stemmed from a Lower North Island Rabobank Client Council meeting in 2018 where the Council discussed ideas to address the critical skills shortage in the sheep, beef and deer sector. Following a pilot in 2019, GFF was officially launched in 2020 and this year some 60 students across the country participated in the Programme. GFF now has an established board structure and employs several permanent staff including a General Manager and Liaisons Manager.

To view the stories from Growing Future Farmers students and graduates click here.

Find out more

Ag Pathways

The Lower South Island Client Council developed the AgPathways program in 2015 to help overcome the challenge of attracting young people into careers in agriculture taken from one of the client council themes of ‘Long term capacity and agricultural education’

The 1 ½ day workshops are focused around business planning with topics covering people management, managing business and risk management. Facilitation is completed primarily from local professional and intermediaries.

The key to the success is the participation / interaction of the local client council members who enthusiastically sit with the groups and share their own knowledge and experiences throughout the day and a half.

One of the most favoured sessions are the ‘war stories’ where we invite successful farmers to come in to tell their story of how they achieved their goals towards farm ownership.

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