FAO and EU Partnership

European Union and FAO

Partnering for sustainable development

Since 1991, the European Union (EU) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) have collaborated through countless programmes in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Near East and Latin America, and our joint achievements have been significant.

Together we work towards a better future for all, through the sustainable use of resources, tackling climate change, and protecting biodiversity. The EU-FAO cooperation spans a wide range of issues, from food safety and security, sustainable agriculture, and disease and pest control, to land tenure, soil management, and the fight against illegal fisheries, desertification and deforestation.

The EU has established itself as a steadfast and leading resource partner for FAO. Between 2020 and 2021, it contributed more than USD 334 million to projects and programmes implemented by FAO. The EU-FAO partnership is sound and growing, driven by a common call to eradicate global poverty, hunger and malnutrition. This partnership is based on shared goals, interests and a common vision. In order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the EU and FAO leverage innovative approaches, tools and products that benefit the global community and catalyse positive change for millions of people in developing, emerging and developed countries, including those in the European Union.

Priorities for partnership

In May 2021, the EU and FAO identified five priority areas for strategic cooperation in coming years:

Food systems and One Health

Food systems and One Health

The health of humans, animals and the environment are inextricably linked. To ensure sustainable production and consumption, as well as environmental stewardship, the EU and FAO will advance a One Health approach across the food systems to combat Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), prevent the spread of zoonotic and transboundary diseases, ensure food safety, reduce the use pesticides, food loss and waste, as well as ensure an enabling food system regulatory framework. Working jointly at the country and global level, also involving partners to translate this One Health joint agenda into action, will drive the partnership in this area.

Climate change, biodiversity and natural resources

Climate change, biodiversity and natural resources

Sustainable food systems imply coordinated transformative work to address climate change and biodiversity loss, halt deforestation, restore and protect global ecosystems while advancing innovative solutions to sustainably manage natural resources. Hence, the EU and FAO will closely work on the green and blue transformation of the terrestrial and aquatic food systems to reduce their environmental footprint and achieve their sustainable development in its three dimensions – economic, social and environmental.

Key initiatives include:

Food crises, food security and resilient livelihoods

Food crises, food security and resilient livelihoods

The EU and FAO will step up their support at regional and country level to build resilient and inclusive food systems in fragile contexts, harness the game-changing potential of the Global Network Against Food Crises and improve coordination along the humanitarian-development-peace nexus.

Key initiatives include:

Sustainable agrifood value chain investments and policies

Sustainable agrifood value chain investments and policies

Sustainable and inclusive agrifood value chains at the global and local level will be at the core of the EU-FAO collaboration that will aim to focus on creating an enabling environment by putting the well-being of farmers, in particular women and youth, and the health of the planet at the center of the joint efforts. Policy dialogue and support, normative work, investment incentives, public-private partnerships, due diligence and traceability across agri-food value chains will be some key elements of the EU-FAO collaboration in this sense.

Key initiatives include:

Food system transformation through digitalization

Food system transformation through digitalization

To achieve an impact at scale, digitalization and innovative disruptive solutions will drive the EU-FAO collaboration by jointly sustaining foundational data services needed for the 2030 Agenda. Partners will support digital public goods that aim to increase resilience and adaptability of rural communities, increase food security, bridge digital divide, support data driven policymaking, support digital literacy, short and transparent value chains, as well as private sector engagement.