Trade and markets
 > Economic and Social Development stream > Trade and Markets > Emerging issues > Investments > Road test of the OECD-FAO Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains
 

Pilot project on the implementation of the OECD-FAO Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains

In February 2018, FAO and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), launched 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 included 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 project was finalized in October 2019.

Enterprises involved in the agricultural sector are critical for the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals by, for example, generating investment, decent employment and developing productivity and supply chains that benefit producers and consumers. At the same time, business activities in this sector can undermine this potential if their operations have negative social, environmental or economic impacts.

The OECD and FAO have jointly developed the Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains to meet sustainability challenges and adhere to internationally-agreed standards such as the CFS Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems.  The Guidance covers a broad range of issues including human rights, labour rights, health and safety, food security and nutrition, tenure rights, animal welfare, governance, natural resources and technology, and innovation. The pilot project provides a forum to improve the understanding of the benefits and practical implications of applying the Guidance. It constitutes an important component of FAO’s Umbrella Programme supporting responsible agricultural investment.

The results of the pilot project, presented in the final report, suggest that the participating companies have, overall, taken steps to strengthen their approach to due diligence.  Many companies in agricultural supply chains have a sophisticated approach to responsible business conduct, but the adoption of due diligence strategies is often impacted by reactions to external pressures.

Gaps remain in how companies translate policy commitments into implementation actions. In particular, systemic challenges require closer collaboration with key stakeholders. There is also widespread reliance by companies on industry schemes or third party platforms which may impact effective risk management. Companies do not yet provide enough information about due diligence practices in their public reporting.

The final report also discusses challenges that companies face in addressing risks and impacts in their operations and business relationships. It provides recommendations to companies and policymakers on how to address these challenges.

 

 Reports

pdf The OECD-FAO Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains: How it can help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

pdf Final report: Pilot project on the implementation of the OECD-FAO Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains

pdf Baseline report: Pilot project on the implementation of the OECD-FAO Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains

pdf OECD-FAO Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains