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Guidance instruments that promote responsible agricultural investment

Against the backdrop of recurrent food price crises and a wave of large-scale land acquisitions in the late 2000s, the international community called for instruments that promote responsible agricultural investment. FAO and the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) have taken a leading role in the development of international guidance instruments through multi-stakeholder consultations. They may be useful for governments to develop laws and policies, and for private corporate actors or civil society groups.

The CFS Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems

The CFS-RAI were approved by the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in 2014. They are the result of an inclusive consultation process. The Principles address all types of investment in agriculture and food systems and in the production and processing spheres. They provide a framework that all stakeholders can use. FAO is currently developing an Umbrella Programme to translate the principles into action.

OECD-FAO Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains

OECD and FAO have jointly developed voluntary guidance to help enterprises observe existing standards of responsible business conduct along agricultural supply chains, with the support of a multi-stakeholder advisory group. This practical guidance should help clarifying existing standards in the agricultural sector.

[Available in German] [Available in Chinese]



Pilot project to road test the OECD-FAO Guidance                                               

FAO and the OECD are currently operating a pilot project to road test the OECD-FAO Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains with a group of selected enterprises and industry initiatives. Participants include global consumer brands, retailers, producers, financial enterprises investing in land and agricultural projects, as well as industry programmes, associations, and cooperatives seeking to support their membership base in strengthening their responsible business practices.


The FAO Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT)

The VGGT were endorsed by the CFS in 2012. They aim to guarantee the protection of legitimate tenure rights and address all relevant issues about land tenure. The VGGT contain a chapter on investment which clarifies the responsibilities of various stakeholders.