The idea behind FAO's creation, and the views of governments as to how that idea should be reflected in the Organization's activities, were set out quite clearly and simply in the Preamble and in Article I of its Constitution.
The Preamble of the FAO Constitution, as adopted when the Organization was founded in 1945, and as amended in 1965 by the addition of the phrase “and ensuring humanity's freedom from hunger”, reads:
The Nations accepting this Constitution, being determined to promote the common welfare by further separate and collective action on their part for the purpose of:
raising the levels of nutrition and standards of living of the peoples under their respective jurisdictions;
securing improvements in the efficiency of the production and distribution of all food and agricultural products;
bettering the condition of rural populations;
and thus contributing toward an expanding world economy and ensuring humanity's freedom from hunger;
hereby establish the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, hereinafter referred to as the “Organization”, through which the Members will report to one another on the measures taken and the progress achieved in the field of action set forth above.
The manner in which the broad objectives, as defined in the Preamble, were to be achieved is set out in Article I, which reads:
The Organization shall collect, analyse, interpret and disseminate information relating to nutrition, food and agriculture. In this Constitution, the term “agriculture” and its derivatives include fisheries, marine products, forestry and primary forestry products.
The Organization shall promote and, where appropriate, shall recommend national and international action with respect to:
the adoption of international policies with respect to agricultural commodity
It shall also be the function of the Organization: