This week I was with the likes of Yara International, EBG Capital, Nestle, Rabobank, civil society groups and UN governments to discuss how to ‘Kick-Start’ ten new Principles on Responsible Agricultural Investment (PDF) that have been endorsed by the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) – a unique multi-stakeholder model that has governments, research bodies, private sector, civil society and foundations all working together.
The discussion was led by Dutch Ambassador Gerda Verburg, Chair of the CFS, who helped pioneer the Principles designed to ‘provide a framework to rethink investment in agriculture and food systems’. In 2014, the agri-business community was involved in their drafting, leading us to forge agreements on all kinds of issues from natural resource use, land rights, employment, empowerment of women, farm innovation, and more.
At this week’s meeting the CFS’ private sector members highlighted that on average, businesses of all sizes provide 60% of GDP, 80% of capital flows and 90% of jobs in developing countries, and are the major source of the US$1 trillion a year needed to finance development. In the context of the CFS Principles, governments can leverage this potential by prioritizing stable, predictable and transparent regulatory frameworks and legal systems to attract sustainable investments in agriculture.
The CFS’ Private Sector Mechanism contributors at Tuesday’s event were:
- Barrie Bain, International Fertilizer Industry Association
- Natalia Federighi, Yara International
- Bernd Schanzenbacher, EBG Capital
The PSM official statement is here (PDF 323KB)