Guest post by Manuel Gonzalez Managing Director, Head of the Rabobank North America Wholesale San Francisco office, and Head of the Western Region Corporate Clients for Rabobank North America Wholesale as part of our Internet of Food Series. The views expressed are are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of Food+Tech Connect.
Feeding an increasing population, changing consumer preferences and resource constraints, present many challenges, but also provide many opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship. I am proud to support innovation through my work at Rabobank, the leading global food and agriculture bank. Rabobank has been investing in the food and agriculture industries for over 100 years, and we are determined to contribute to overcoming challenges and seizing opportunities for growth.
Together with our clients, partners and colleagues worldwide, we believe that we all need to contribute to the four dimensions of food security:
While Rabobank’s view on these dimensions of food security shape our understanding of the challenge of guaranteeing healthy, safe, and sufficient food for everyone, we understand that no one business model or technology will be able to address all elements of these interconnected and complex global food issues. We believe it is crucial to encourage, support and promote an ecosystem full of diverse business models, technologies and viewpoints that will drive innovative solutions to our biggest food challenges. We believe our key role in supporting this type of ecosystem is to promote and facilitate connections throughout the entire food and agriculture value chain. In particular, we aim to offer and facilitate access to finance, knowledge and networks to help the food ecosystem succeed.
One of the initiatives developed by Rabobank to promote and facilitate these connections is FoodBytes!, a series of transformational events in the food, agribusiness and technology space. FoodBytes! events are designed to connect food industry leaders and investors with food and agriculture startups that are innovating and disrupting the food chain with groundbreaking ideas in food, agribusiness and technology. Through FoodBytes!, we are leveraging our experience and knowledge to connect innovators with investors, and create a platform to turn today’s new ideas and technologies into tomorrow’s solutions.
We will continue working to develop this ecosystem around the four dimensions of food security. We are committed to ensuring the knowledge, networks and access to finance that come from our events will help support the most promising technological solutions to our greatest food challenges.
Internet of Food is an editorial series exploring how we might use technology, new business models and design to guarantee healthy, safe and sufficient food for everyone. Join the conversation between March 23 and April 29. Share your ideas in the comments, on Twitter using #internetoffood, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn, and follow the conversation by subscribing to our newsletter.
Manuel Gonzalez was born in Mexico and is the Managing Director, Head of the Rabobank North America Wholesale San Francisco office, and Head of the Western Region Corporate Clients for Rabobank North America Wholesale. Formerly, he was the Country Head of Rabobank Mexico for four years. Under his leadership, the Mexico franchise significantly strengthened its business performance, achieving considerable increases in revenue, cross-sell and net income.
Manuel joined Rabobank in 1996 as a project manager in the Project Finance business in Mexico. In 2003, he was named Head of Credit and a year later became the Head of Credit and Legal. Prior to Rabobank, Manuel was the General Manager at Gonzalez Guzman Alimentos, a dairy and food distribution company. Manuel holds an MBA from Georgetown University.