Queen Máxima to deliver speech on tenth anniversary of the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH)

Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands will attend The Future of Sustainable Trade conference to be held at Werkspoorkathedraal in Utrecht on 15 November 2018 to mark the tenth anniversary of the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH). In her capacity as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development, the Queen will take part in the High Level Breakfast Meeting and deliver a speech. The Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Sigrid Kaag, will also deliver a speech.

The conference will consider the joint development of sustainable trade strategies that are economically viable, contribute to the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs) and can be implemented by a variety of parties. The conference participants will include donors and representatives of businesses, banks, financial institutions and non-profit organisations.

The breakfast meeting will focus on IDH’s new Farmfit Fund to reduce the investment risk to financial institutions and so increase lending to small farms in developing countries. This target group often represents an excessive risk to financial institutions because small farmers often cannot provide sufficient security or the credit history necessary to be granted a loan. Furthermore, they often have irregular incomes owing to fluctuations in crop yields and market prices. The Farmfit Fund will have access to €100 million. It will be supported by USAID (United States Agency for International Development), the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, JDE (the parent company of Douwe Egberts), Mondelez and Unilever. David Nabarro, special adviser to the UN Secretary-General on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, will act as the meeting’s moderator. CEOs of multinationals and financial institutions will also take part in the discussion as well as Queen Máxima and Minister Kaag.

Queen Máxima’s speech will consider the importance of value chain financing. This is the financing of activities so that products and services increase in value in each link of the production and delivery chain. The Farmfit Fund will be officially launched during the conference. Queen Máxima will then talk to fintech organisations to discuss the role of technology in agricultural financing. Technology can help farmers build up a credit history and can provide an insight into the activities of farmers, customers and financing institutions.

IDH was established in 2008 to bring businesses, governments and non-profit institutions together in public-private coalitions that develop new business models and financing structures for the sustainable production of and trade in chiefly tropical crops. The initiative’s financial backers include the Dutch, Danish and Swiss governments.

Queen Máxima has served as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development since 2009. As Special Advocate she is a leading global voice advancing access to affordable, effective and safe financial services for all, including low-income groups and small and medium-sized enterprises. She has been honorary patron of the G20’s Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) since 2011.