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Rabobank expands Sustainability team to help farming clients navigate changing environment

Agribusiness banking specialist Rabobank New Zealand has announced the appointments of Katie Vickers and Gavin Marshall to newly-created Sustainability Manager roles within its Sustainable Business Development team.

In the new roles, Ms Vickers and Mr Marshall will help further advance the bank’s sustainability programme, with a key focus on supporting the bank’s clients to transition towards more environmentally sustainable farming practices.

Announcing the new appointments, Rabobank CEO Todd Charteris said the scope and degree of sustainability-related needs for both Rabobank and its clients had grown significantly over recent years as a result of emerging regulatory reform and increasing consumer and community expectations.

“Consequently, we recognised the need for further sustainability expertise to support the implementation of our sustainability strategy, particularly with the development and implementation of the appropriate tools, training and resources to have meaningful and data-driven discussions with our clients to support them with the sustainability aspects of their businesses,” he said.

Rabobank Sustainability Manager, Gavin Marshall


“Katie and Gavin both have the specific experience and skill sets that aligns with Rabobank’s sustainability strategy, and we’re delighted to now have them on board as part of the team.”

Mr Charteris said Ms Vickers joined the bank in June this year, having spent the previous eight years with Farmlands Co-operative Society.

“In her most recent role as the Head of Sustainability and Land Use at Farmlands, Katie played a key role in helping to drive and integrate sustainability throughout Farmlands business,” he said.

“She has excellent communication and leadership skills, and these attributes have seen her recognised as one of the agricultural sector’s up and coming leaders. In 2020 she was awarded the NZ Co-operative Emerging Leader of the Year award, and in 2022 she was named rel="noopener noreferrer" as a finalist for the 2022 Zanda McDonald Award.

Rabobank Sustainability Manager, Katie Vickers


“Katie’s new role with Rabobank will see her focused on supporting our staff with learning and development so they can have meaningful sustainability discussions with the bank’s clients. She’ll also assist with the development and delivery of our client knowledge programmes.”

Mr Charteris said Mr Marshall joined Rabobank in August this year and brings with him 15 years’ experience in the agriculture sector, the last six years spent as an Environmental Programme Lead at Fonterra.

“In that role, Gavin designed, developed and managed the implementation of programmes focused on supporting farmers to reduce their environmental footprint – primarily around freshwater and climate,” he said.

“In his new position with Rabobank, Gavin will be responsible for the development of the online tool used by the bank to assess the non-financial performance of our clients’ businesses – including their environmental, agronomic, social and workplace performance – with the aim of advancing the insights this tool provides for our clients.”

Both Ms Vickers and Mr Marshall will report into the bank’s Head of Sustainable Business Development Blake Holgate, who has been in the role since early last year, and with the bank since 2012.

With the new additions to the team now up and running, Mr Holgate said the bank was well placed to establish a unique market position built around providing its clients with the knowledge, networks and finance.

“As a bank built upon co-operative values, we’re committed to helping our clients develop and implement sustainability solutions that best meet their unique needs. We strongly believe the best way to do this is through meaningful engagement that provides them with information so they can make good decisions for their businesses, and by then providing a financial solution that best aligns to the decisions they’ve made,” he said.

“We’re already providing our clients with a range of workshops and other resources to support their sustainability objectives. And with the additional capacity we now have available within the team, a range of further initiatives are now being developed and will be rolled out in the months ahead.”

In addition to its direct support for the bank’s clients, Mr Holgate said, Rabobank placed a strong emphasis on raising general awareness of the key sustainability challenges facing the country’s food producers, as well as contributing to industry discussion on the future direction for the sector.

“Earlier this year, we released a new industry White Paper which explores the climate change challenge for New Zealand agriculture and aims to cut through the noise for concerned, but conflicted, New Zealand farmers and producers,” he said.

“Over recent years, we’ve also made a number of submissions to government on proposed policy changes which impact the sector, including the Government’s emissions reduction plan and Exotic Forestry regime. These submissions reflect the views of our clients and wider industry participants as well as highlighting the importance of New Zealand’s agricultural sector and the vital role it plays for both New Zealand’s economy and in the wellbeing of rural communities.”


Rabobank New Zealand is a part of the global Rabobank Group, the world’s leading specialist in food and agribusiness banking. Rabobank has more than 120 years’ experience providing customised banking and finance solutions to businesses involved in all aspects of food and agribusiness. Rabobank is structured as a cooperative and operates in 40 countries, servicing the needs of about 10 million clients worldwide through a network of close to 1000 offices and branches. Rabobank New Zealand is one of the country's leading agricultural lenders and a significant provider of business and corporate banking and financial services to the New Zealand food and agribusiness sector. The bank has 32 offices throughout New Zealand.

Media contacts:

David Johnston
Media Relations Manager
Rabobank New Zealand
Phone: 04 819 2711 or 027 477 8153

Denise Shaw
Head of Media Relations 
Rabobank Australia & New Zealand 
Phone: +612 8115 2744 or +61 2 439 603 525