On the invitation of Federal Councillor Schneider-Ammann, Mr. José Graziano da Silva, the Director-General of the FAO, based in Rome, came to Switzerland on a 2-day official visit. During their discussions, the Swiss minister underlined Switzerland's keenness to strengthen its links with the FAO by supporting new innovative and multipartite projects in line with the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), and in particular the "Zero Hunger" initiative launched by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
In this connection, Switzerland is active in various fields. As a member of the Committee on World Food Security, it is helping to draw up principles for responsible investment in agriculture. Furthermore, it supports the FAO in its implementation of the "Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security" that were adopted by the CFS in 2012. At the same time, in view of the growing demand for meat in food supplies worldwide and the often hard life faced by small farmers, Switzerland plans to continue to collaborate with the FAO on sustainable development in livestock farming. It also supports a joint initiative launched by the FAO and the UN Environment Programme aimed at promoting sustainable production and consumption systems, called "Think.Eat.Save.", which focuses in particular on the reduction of food waste and loss. FAO's "Save Food" initiative also tackles the problem.
These initiatives illustrate Switzerland's desire to help improve world food security by establishing sustainable agricultural practice that includes small family businesses. Our country's contribution to the FAO amounts to some CHF 10 million per year.
FAO works to get at the root causes of hunger. Its mandate is to raise levels of nutrition, improve sustainable agricultural productivity, better the lives of rural populations, and contribute to the growth of the world economy.