Daan Dijk (Rabobank) to be a panellist in the “Biomass availability” session
Daan Dijk, Managing Director for Biomaterials Supply Chains at Rabobank
Rabobank is a cooperative farmers bank with a strong global client base in food and agricultural supply chains. Daan Dijk is responsible within Rabobank for business development in the emerging bioeconomy: “as we move out of the fossil age towards the solar age, more and more chemical companies will use agricultural feedstocks instead of oil. This is a big step into unknown territory with very different players, operational practices and market dynamics.”
Compared to fossil feedstocks, investments in agricultural raw materials bear a very different set of uncertainties and risks. “When securing agricultural feedstock you have to deal with many smallholders, harvest risk, quality differences and different storage and logistics. In addition, the price dynamics of biomass differ from those of the biobased end products which compete on the market with fossil derived alternatives. It takes a different approach to stabilize operating margins, but it can be done!” says Daan Dijk.
Daan assesses the European potential for sustainable biomass production as immense. However, in order to reduce the environmental footprint of biomass production, he suggests that the agricultural sector needs to reform itself and lose its dependency on oil thanks to new, emerging agricultural technologies such as microbiology, soil chemistry and agronomy.
Daan Dijk “The issue is not a lack of feedstock. Europe’s sugar beet is a very competitive sugar feedstock, and there are also large volumes of lignocellulosic feedstock available as well as organic waste which can be converted into added-value products. The potential of the bioeconomy for a sustainable reindustrialization of Europe is huge and so is the impact on job creation and growth.”
However, Daan believes that the EU fails to reap the benefits of its huge bioeconomy potential: “The problem is that Europe lacks simple, reliable and longterm incentive schemes for biomaterials. Not surprisingly, growth in the biopolymer sector is higher in South East Asia and the Americas .We must focus on marketable biobased products, advanced biorefineries which can produce them and reform agriculture to be the renewable and sustainable supplier of biomass for food, biomaterials and bioenergy.”
About Rabobank and Biomaterials
As an international bank focusing on food and agribusiness, Rabobank contributes to help make both agriculture and food production more sustainable – in ways that benefit the economy, the environment and society. Rabobank supports its clients in the entire supply chain, from land to brand, by providing access to finance and its expertise and networks. ‘Banking for Food’ is our vision on global food security and the bank’s role in this.
Advanced biobased materials is an exciting new field of business where agribusiness meets chemicals. We believe that this a key area in the transition to a circular economy. We are present in all agri commodity supply chains that are relevant to biomaterials in six continents in both wholesale, rural and retail markets.
As a cooperative player that is at home in the global food and agribusiness market, we can play a role in bringing together agribusiness and chemical industries.
For more information go to www.rabobank.com
Daan Dijk (Netherlands) studied Chemical Physics at the Universities of Groningen and Tel Aviv (MSc, 1980). He worked as a researcher and consultant in the energy sector for nearly 20 years. In 1999 he joined Rabobank where he is currently Managing Director Biomaterials Supply Chain. Daan is the chair of the supervisory board of the Dutch Renewable Energy fund and was on the steering committee of the Deloitte Global Fermentation Study 2014. Amongst others, he is a member of the Dutch Bio-Renewables Business Platform, the Science Committee of the Bio Based Industries public private partnership (BBI), the Sustainable Biomass Commission in the Netherlands operating within the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment and of he is a member of the Scientific and Technological Board Biobased Economy (WTC) within the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs. He is on the advisory board of International Waternet and the Dutch Renewable Energy Innovation and Demonstration Tender. Daan was awarded the UNEP-FI Carbon Leadership Award in 2007.