Farm finance with Rabobank
Blog > Farm finance and resilience with Rabobank
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Farm finance and resilience with Rabobank

Given recent pay-out announcements alongside current interest rates and on-farm costs, financial pressures across the region are on the rise. At these times it’s imperative local bankers are getting behind our farmers to ensure they provide advice and support with critical business decision making. This support allows farmers to make crucial decisions for both the current season as well as any long-term decisions which can have implications on future success, growth or retirement planning.

To get a strong understanding of current banker sentiments the McDonald Real Estate Rural Team has approached Taranaki/Whanganui Rabobank Area Manager, Shay Moon. Shay has worked in banking for more than 10 years throughout the Lower North Island. In this article, he will discuss how he and his team are helping local farmers to navigate the current environment and build resilient businesses.

Introducing Rabobank NZ

As the Rabobank Area Manager, I head up the local team in the Taranaki and Whanganui regions. The team is made up of 25 employees with 370 years of combined experience in rural banking.

When it was founded in the Netherlands back in the 1890s, Rabobank was a small cooperative of banks set up by farmers. Those farmers wanted to ensure rural communities were receiving the financial support they deserved when growing food and managing all seasons, good and bad. 

In the decades since Rabobank has grown into a world-leading specialist in food and agribusiness banking. The bank now serves nine million clients across 38 countries. First entering New Zealand in 1998, Rabobank now employs more than 500 staff in 27 offices around the country. 


How does Rabobank support farmers?

As New Zealand’s only food and agribusiness banking specialist, Rabobank has a single focus – to support Kiwi farmers, growers, and food and fibre producers. The following are some of the ways Rabobank is helping build the necessary confidence among primary producers so they can continue to invest in agricultural assets. 

Financial pressures across the region are on the rise, especially with recent pay-out announcements, current interest rates, and on-farm costs. At these times, banks must get behind farmers and provide reliable advice. 

This allows farmers to make critical decisions for both the current season, as well as long-term decisions that can have implications on future succession, growth, or retirement planning. 

Flexible loan structures and access to capital 

During periods of economic uncertainty or natural disasters, farmers might need additional working capital to tide them over. Rabobank’s All-in-One Facility is designed to create this flexibility. It allows farmers to build up undrawn funds in prosperous times so they can be drawn down when times get tough. 

Rabobank is currently working with clients to proactively assess cash flow requirements and determine where support is required most. For those needing additional support, assistance may include suspending contractual loan repayments or increasing limits to ensure farmers have the confidence to make strong business decisions.

Insights and market information 

Rabobank is also working on the ground with a network of 220 rural specialists and a wealth of local, on-farm, and financial knowledge. These resources are backed up by industry experts in sustainable farm systems, commodity prices, foreign exchange risk management, and more. 

Rabobank also partners with more than 80 international food and agribusiness analysts and a vast global network of farmers. By tapping into the shared pool of reports, podcasts, and events, farmers can make smarter business decisions and develop business opportunities overseas and along the supply chain. 

Over the coming months of 2023, Rabobank will be looking to host multiple events in Taranaki and Whanganui. These events will keep farmers informed and connected with local teams and other farmers. If you would like to speak with one of the local Rabobank specialists, please contact the team

Supporting communities 

Rabobank stands with our communities, acting as a hub for knowledge and community. By fostering connections among farmers, this creates an environment where experiences, strategies, and support can be shared among peers, strengthening the entire agricultural ecosystem. 

Community initiatives include GoodYarn, Stay Well, and Good Deeds. Surfing for Farmers also encourages farmers to have fun away from the farm, with local sessions at New Plymouth, Ōpunake, and Kai Iwi Beach. Key contacts are Mike Fleming for New Plymouth, Claire Hunn for Ōpunake, and Craig Claire for Kai Iwi. 

Education and training

Financial literacy plays a critical role in ensuring farmers make informed financial decisions. Through Rabobank’s workshops, seminars, and training sessions, farmers can improve their understanding of financial concepts, financial management, budgeting, and long-term planning. 

This is based on the idea that empowered farmers are better equipped to navigate challenges. If you or your on-farm team would like to be included in any upcoming workshops, please touch base.

Technology adoption

Many Rabobank clients have embedded better financial planning and forecasting through the use of budget software such as Farm Focus and Figured. This 10-year transition has been led by the exceptional work of accountants, rural professionals, consultants and experienced bankers within the Rabobank team. 

More recently, Rabobank has collaborated with Farm Focus and Figured to offer a free six-month subscription for clients that are not currently subscribers. This allows them to adopt the software with the support of their accountants. This will help to increase business productivity and build resilience within their businesses.

Communication and client feedback

Rabobank is dedicated to cooperating with farmers, taking feedback, and proactively responding to client needs. Always looking to improve how they can help clients, feedback is collected directly from conversations with our Agribusiness Managers, as well as client councils and regular client feedback surveys. 

This ongoing dialogue and communication is a fundamental part of managing expectations through tough times. If there is anything you’d like to discuss, reach out to your local Rabobank team


Resilience in the rural sector

Your partnership with Rabobank is not only a financial transaction but also a step towards strengthening your business and building resilience in the agricultural sector. By engaging with their range of financial and non-financial services, you can continue to manage weather challenges, develop adaptability, and sustain your livelihood. 

With farm revenue likely to be lower in the coming months, the team advises you to take control of farm costs and make prudent decisions, ensuring the long-term sustainability of your operations. 

Fortunately, our fertile soils and favourable growing conditions have allowed Taranaki farmers to run some of the most efficient agricultural systems in New Zealand. This was proven during the 2014/15 dairy downturn and the 2017/18 Taranaki drought.

As a farming region, we can confidently lean on our experience to withstand the headwinds and take opportunities for improvement and growth. In fact, many farmers have made great progress following these adverse events, going on to build wealth, purchase more farms, and provide for the next generation. 

On behalf of the team at Rabobank, thank you for your commitment and for everything you do for New Zealand’s agricultural sector. Rabobank remains committed to the industry, supporting the region’s farmers through all stages of the economic cycle. If you require any assistance, please contact the agribusiness team today.


Selling a farm in Taranaki

If your next business decision is to sell your rural property, the McDonald Real Estate team is here to help. Our rural experts have been supporting Taranaki farmers since 1912 so you can depend on us to deliver results. Visit one of our 8 convenient offices around the Taranaki region or contact us for tailored advice.

Contact us today ›


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