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FAO dialogue HSBC on the global challenges of the food industry and the agricultural sector


HSBC Agriculture branch visits FAO Headquarters to learn from the organization’s experience and know-how

24/09/2015 - 

24 September 2015, Rome. HSBC Bank approached FAO to learn from the organization’s experience and know-how on global challenges the food industry is facing. FAO has a long-standing collaboration with major financial institutions such as EBRD, IFAD, Regional Development Banks, and has also some fruitful partnerships running with financial entities such as Rabobank.

“FAO considers the Private Sector to be a key ally in the fight against hunger and that the organization is committed to working hand in hand with the private sector”, said Marcela Villarreal, Director of the Office for Partnerships, Advocacy and Capacity Development, who welcomed HSBC visitors to FAO Headquarters.

“FAO has really moved on and the most important thing is that FAO is embracing role that private sector can play in partnerships with public sector in meeting the challenges for food security and sustainability, together with rural development,” said Michael Jack former United Kingdom Minister of State Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, currently HSBC Food & Agriculture Advisor.

“In the future the use of private capital with public policy is going to play an increasingly important part in the way developed and less developed parts of the world deal with questions of food security and sustainability”, stated the former Minister of Agriculture.

Sustainability

Michael Jack and Allan Wilkinson, HSBC Head of Food & Agriculture, met FAO Strategic Objectives coordinators and technical officers to understand the Organization’s global perspective of the food and agricultural sector.

“We are trying to understand food chain far better than we have done so far”, said Wilkinson. “We need to make sure there is stability and sustainability about the undertakings we are trying to help with”, said Wilkinson.

HSBC representatives showed its strong interest in sustainability issues where the Bank has devoted due efforts.

Responsible investments in agriculture

FAO officials emphasised that responsible investment in agriculture and food systems contribute to food security and good nutrition, a collective responsibility of all stakeholders.

The Principles for Responsible Investments in Agriculture and Food Systems represent a clear and unified set of principles that enable larger and more sustainable investment in agriculture while also making stakeholders responsible for enabling adequate conditions for these principles to be met.

The Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems offer a fantastic opportunity for the private sector to act responsibly,” said Marcela Villarreal.

“The right thing”

In line with this, Wilkinson said HSBC wants not only to make profit for its shareholders but also to do "the right thing", which means the Bank has to conduct its business in a sustainable way.

“Not only to help our customer and our shareholder, but also to play a greater role in the challenge of feeding a growing population,” said Wilkinson.

The Bank has recently released its Agricultural Commodities Policy that establishes the Bank’s standard not to finance unacceptable impacts in potentially high-risk sectors.