FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

Partnering with the private sector for sustainable food and agriculture


Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and ensuring inclusive growth requires partnerships and collaborations with everyone concerned. The expertise and experience of the private sector is also key to meet the challenges of our times and ensure sustainable agrifood systems.

In this context, FAO is facilitating a consultation with the private sector today, prior to the upcoming Regional Conference for Europe. Held in the virtual sphere, the private sector consultation is meant to be a forum for exchanging views with representatives of the private sector on the fundamental issues of sustainable food and agriculture in Europe and Central Asia. Participants are encouraged to explore the potential of cooperation, taking into account the current crisis and challenges as well.

“Including the private sector in the regional and global dialogue is growing in importance, as companies have been widely recognized as fully-fledged partners to drive sustainable development further in a progressive manner,” said Darya Alekseeva, FAO partnership officer. “We are two years into the implementation of the global FAO strategy on private sector engagement, and the process has already yielded positive results and impacts. So, to avoid losing momentum, it is important to continue our cooperation with the sector also in Europe and Central Asia.”

The private sector consultation will enhance engagement within the sector across the region, also in relation to the above-mentioned FAO strategy, to assess lessons learned and the way forward.

As a general outcome, the consultation will help FAO better understand the priorities of the private sector on sustainable food and agriculture, which will, in turn, enable the Organization to formulate better and more targeted programmes and projects that embrace an inclusive and participatory approach.

Participants of the event include regional and country-based companies, private sector groups, associations, and foundations from inside and outside the European Union, as well as representatives of different food and agriculture businesses, ranging from consumer representatives to packaging companies, and processing industries.

FAO started engaging with the private sector more than two decades ago. Since then, private sector partnerships have significantly grown in number and have become more complex. The adoption of the SDGs marked an important milestone as they call for broader and deeper engagement of the private sector in attaining development outcomes, including a specific goal – SDG 17 –, which endorses the importance of partnerships. This demand is coming from both sides, as private sector enterprises themselves are expanding their work on and commitment to achieving the SDGs.

28 April 2022, Budapest, Hungary