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  • Condensed by Lynda Kiernan-Stone, Unconventional Ag Media

Rabobank, Santander, AGRI3 Invest $36.2M in Responsible Soy Fund

Institutional investors Rabobank, Santander, and AGRI3 have invested $36.24 million into the Responsible Commodities Facility (RCF) Cerrado Programme Fund - a vehicle that offers low-interest financing to farmers who commit to zero deforestation of native vegetation for the expansion of soy cultivation and to maintain farms’ forest cover in excess of the minimum required by law.

The RCF was originally launched in August 2022 with an initial investment of $11 million from food retailers Tesco and Waiterose. U.S. cocoa and chocolate product manufacturer Barry Callebaut, also provided financial support for the structuring of the program.

In the 2023/24 season, the program funded 122 farms producing more than 260,000 tons of soybeans, resulting in the conservation of about 43,400 hectares of native vegetation and protected over 20 million tons of CO2 carbon stocks.

Now, following a season where all financing was repaid with zero deforestation occurring, the program is rapidly scaling, and is better able to ensure that more soy can be certified as Deforestation and Conversion Free (DCF).

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