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OECD-FAO Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains

The OECD-FAO Guidance on Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains is FAO’s central framework for addressing supply chains, due diligence and development in the agricultural sector. As the sector’s leading tool for environmental and social risk reduction in business conduct, governments and companies use the OECD-FAO Guidance in a practical way to manage and mitigate adverse impacts through sourcing, and better directing business impacts into development outcomes. The OECD-FAO Guidance is relevant to companies upstream and downstream in the agricultural supply chain and lays out responsible business conduct and development from farm to consumer.

Adopted in 2016, the OECD-FAO Guidance was developed jointly by the OECD and FAO following a two-year process led by a multi-stakeholder advisory group that included governments, investors, agri-food companies, farmers’ organizations, civil society organizations, among others. To allow for wider stakeholder engagement, the process also involved a public consultation that featured contributions from an array of actors. Since its launch, the Guidance has received widespread government endorsement and support, including by G7 agriculture ministers.

The OECD-FAO Guidance provides a common framework and a globally applicable benchmark for the application of responsible business practices in agricultural supply chains. It covers several areas that are key to business and development in the agricultural sector, illustrating impacts in areas such as: food security and nutrition, human and labour rights (including child labour), gender, climate change and natural resource depletion (including deforestation), governance, animal welfare, land tenure rights, technology and innovation, and many more. The OECD-FAO Guidance incorporates established standards for responsible business conduct (RBC) including the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and  Human  Rights  (UNGPs), and the UN Committee on World Food Security’s Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems (CFS-RAI).

Key Features of the OECD-FAO Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains

  • introduces a model enterprise policy, outlining the standards that enterprises should observe to build responsible agricultural supply chains;

  • provides a framework for risk-based due diligence describing the five practical steps that enterprises should follow to identify, assess, mitigate and report on work for addressing the adverse impacts of their activities;

  • outlines and describes the major risks faced by enterprises in the agricultural sector, highlighting measures for mitigating these risks; and

  • features examples on engaging with and addressing development vis-à-vis vulnerable groups, such as indigenous peoples.


OECD-FAO Guidance 5-Step Framework to Due Diligence


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Responsible Business Conduct (RBC) in Agriculture
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