SOURCE: Rabobank, N.A.

Rabobank, N.A.

June 16, 2016 12:00 ET

Limited View of Technology Leaves Value on the Table

Technology Adoption Can Do More Than Reduce Costs and Improve Production, Says Rabobank

FRESNO, CA--(Marketwired - June 16, 2016) - Global demand for food is expected to rise at least 60 percent by 2050, while rising incomes drive greater consumption of fruits and vegetables (F&V). Simultaneously, the value-chain is faced with limited resources, increasing regulatory pressures, and changing consumer expectations. These, among other, macro-trends are the basis used in the latest Rabobank report "Technology Use in Fruits and Vegetables - Finding Synergies for Survival of the Firm". According to the report, technology development and adoption are necessities for the F&V sector, as it is forced to do more with less.

"Continued technology adoption in the F&V sector is critical to balancing the economic, social, and environmental needs of the value-chain and consumers," says Roland Fumasi, analyst at Rabobank. "Intensifying technology research, investment, and adoption is critical for sector participants and supporting institutions." The industry must recognize that technology adoption is truly about creating value for the entire value-chain, the consumer and society as a whole, while maintaining economic sustainability for individual producers.

The report goes on to outline critical areas where technology can, and has had a significant impact. Included in those are labor vs. mechanical harvest, organic/biological inputs, and perhaps the most polarizing technology in Food and Agri today, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), or GM crops.

Speaking specifically to GM Fumasi said, "While GM crops are very rare in F&V today, many types of benefits could be had, including greater food safety and environmental sustainability." Fumasi went on to state that in the end the consumer is going to make the decision whether or not GM crops would or would not have more adoption into F&V, assuming the general consumer gets the chance." It depends on just how willing consumers are to consider GMOs and how they choose to react when offered a direct consumer benefit." He conceded that getting GM F&V products to market will be very challenging for those who try.

The report concludes noting that while growers/manufacturers tend to focus on how technology can reduce costs and improve production, there are other economically beneficial qualities as well. "A holistic view of technology can lead to reducing financial risk by making both revenues and costs more resilient to rapidly changing government regulations and increasingly complex consumer expectations." With today's rapid advancements in technology, questions that may have seemed ridiculous 15 years ago, are now firmly on the table.

The full report is available exclusively to clients of Rabobank and to media upon request.

About Rabobank, N.A.
Rabobank, N.A. is a California community bank and a leading provider of agricultural financing and full-service banking products to California consumers, businesses and the agriculture industry. With more than 100 retail branches, we serve the needs of communities from Redding to the Imperial Valley through a regional structure that promotes local decision-making and active community involvement by our employees.

Rabobank, N.A. is a division of the Rabobank Group, the premier lender to the global food and agricultural industry and a financial services leader providing commercial, retail and agricultural finance solutions in 48 countries around the world. From its century-old roots in the Netherlands, Rabobank has grown into one of the world's largest and safest banks. Rabobank, N.A. is a Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender.

About Rabo AgriFinance
As a leading financial services provider for agricultural producers and agribusinesses in the United States, Rabo AgriFinance adds value using industry expertise, client-focused solutions, and by creating long-term business relationships. Rabo AgriFinance offers a comprehensive portfolio of services that give producers the right products to prepare for, and take advantage of, market opportunities. Rabo AgriFinance representatives offer a wide array of financial services and knowledge to help customers realize their ambitions. This comprehensive suite of services includes loans, insurance, middle market agribusiness, input finance and sophisticated risk management products. Rabo AgriFinance is a division of Rabobank, the premier bank to the global agriculture industry and one of the world's largest and safest banks.

About Rabobank Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory (FAR)
The Rabobank Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory (FAR) group is a global team of more than 80 analysts who monitor and evaluate global market events that affect agriculture worldwide. This international team works to collect key insights into commodity markets; conduct in-depth analysis of the factors that drive sector success (or failure); and examine the megatrends that ultimately influence clients' business strategy. These analysts are internationally respected experts in sectors from protein to produce, inputs to oilseeds, and their knowledge is shared with Rabobank customers.

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