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In this second installment of the Meat the Law Lecture Series, we discuss the role of finance in the meat industry. Agriculture is often imagined as a relatively simple sector, however complex structures of finance underpin contemporary agricultural practices. Financial institutions have large stakes and security-backed interests in farms and companies. Over the past years these institutions have taken up sustainability commitments that also cover these stakes and interests. Large scale investors try to nudge and move large polluters towards more sustainable resource use and are setting up responsible investment portfolios. At the source major players in agri-finance are working on raising the bar on sustainability requirements for finance, but also helping businesses transition through access to knowledge and networks. These developments are laudable, but are they enough? Is finance an adequate tool to transition the meat industry towards a sustainable future? And what is the role of (private) law in facilitating and encouraging positive change?

Event details of Meat the Law Series: Finance and the Meat Industry
Date 14 April 2021
Time 15:30 -17:00
Organised by Debadatta Bose , Yannick van den Berg

About the Series

Meat the Law is a series of events focused around sustainability in the meat industry. Important challenges in this industry remain: livestock is the single biggest contributor to global food emissions. At the same time, disruptive technologies have sought to further sustainability in the field. For example, various mock meats that have gained traction as good investments for the inevitable sustainability-focused future – Beyond Meat stock surged 119% in the last year. The series is intended to enable engagement with diverse viewpoints from within and outside the domain of private law as a holistic approach to understanding the solutions and problems of the 21st century challenges: befitting for the overarching goal of the Amsterdam Centre for Transformative private law.


Aukje Berden is Senior Sustainability Strategist at Rabobank. Rabobank is a Dutch multinational Bank, global leader in food and agriculture financing and sustainability-oriented banking. Aukje is positioned within Rabobank’s group sustainability department. She is responsible for integrating sustainability into Rabobanks’ food & agri sector visions and strategies, membership of sustainability related networks (e.g. Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef) and supporting the development of innovative client solutions that accelerate food system transition. She is also global program manager for Rabobank’s partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), aimed at creating sustainable food & agri supply chains through international projects with clients. Aukje has extensive experience in making the food & agri sector more sustainable. Before joining Rabobank in 2018, Aukje worked as global Head of Sustainability for the international agribusiness Nidera/COFCO International. She was responsible for developing, managing and implementing the global sustainability strategy across business, operations and the supply chain. Prior to her work at Nidera/COFCO International, she worked on sustainability within the food & agri sector in several roles at the European Parliament and the Federation of the Dutch Food and Drink Industry (FNLI). Aukje obtained an MsC in Economics from Tilburg University.  

Frank Wagemans is senior engagement specialist at Achmea Investment Management. Achmea IM is one of the leading asset managers in the Netherlands with € 205 billion Assets under Management. At Achmea IM Frank engages companies on ESG-themes on behalf of Achmea IM and its clients, such as water use, labour rights and health. Previously, Frank was program manager responsible investment at the VBDO, the Dutch Association of Investors for Sustainable Development, were he lead the yearly benchmark study on responsible investment by Dutch pension funds and worked on themes such as climate change, natural capital and human rights. Prior to his work for Achmea IM and the VBDO, Frank worked on themes such as environmental policy, water management and climate adaptation in several governmental roles. Frank obtained a MSc on Environmental Policy at Wageningen University in The Netherlands. Besides his work at Achmea IM Frank is a PhD candidate on the impact and effectiveness of ESG-engagement at Wageningen University.

Kinanya Pijl, Assistant Professor in Private Law at the Amsterdam Law School will be responding to the presentations.