Committed to the growth of our Aussie Farmers
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Committed to the growth of our Aussie Farmers

Category Our People

Mark Middleton

Not only committed to the prosperity and growth of our own Australian farmers, Brisbane Senior Rural Manager Mark Middleton, has a keen interest in ensuring the livelihood of some of the world’s most underprivileged producers.

As such, Mark has recently embraced the opportunity to help lead a project creating an innovative digital platform to help enhance livelihoods, financial inclusion and productivity of small holder coffee producers in Vietnam.

It’s one of many projects currently being spearheaded thanks to a joint venture between Rabobank (Partnerships) and Bayer in South East Asia.

Mark’s project revolves around increasing the efficiency in the agricultural value chain of small holder coffee farmers, and he said it was enlightening dealing with grass-roots farmers, working on two hectare plots with no mechanisation.

“They are crying out for knowledge and support, and unfortunately they tend to receive adversary input advice, often leading to environmental issues. Our role is to circumnavigate this bad advice with the correct products and knowledge and increase financial to allow these coffee farmers to get ahead sustainably,” Mark said.

Over a three month period, the aim is to develop a commercial business solution to present to the Rabobank and Bayer boards for investment consideration.

“The solution we are working on will deliver positive impact and enhance the livelihood of coffee growers in Vietnam, whilst contributing to positive environmental change.”

Mark’s is a genuine passion for SE Asian food production, encouraged thanks to an Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research (ACIAR) scholarship in Myanmar in 2017.

This experience led to Mark presenting research papers on agricultural value chain finance in Myanmar and Vietnam.

As such, when reading about the opportunity for Rabobank staff to participate in this Vietnamese coffee producer project, he didn’t hesitate.

Mark said his two young daughters also provided inspiration when taking on this voluntary project work.

“I want my girls to have an understanding of where food comes from, not just in the developed world, but in a real world context, and the struggles some people have putting food on the table.”

Congratulations Mark on taking this great initiative!