Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)


FAO Private Sector Consultation

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is convinced that hunger and malnutrition can be eradicated in our lifetime. To meet the Zero Hunger Challenge with a more sustainable and resilient food systems in the world, political commitment and major alliances with key stakeholders are crucial. Partnerships are at the heart of FAO’s mission to help build consensus and to find solutions for a world without hunger.  

FAO is developing a new strategy for engagement with the private sector. To ensure that the strategy is fit for purpose, FAO is seeking inputs from the private sector. To do so, FAO is hosting a series virtual meetings and a 3-part online consultation during the period 2 to 24 July 2020 to discuss how FAO and the private sector can work together in accelerating the Sustainable Development Goals.

FAO will engage with the many private sector entities joining the sessions and the online discussions to capture the views and experiences in engaging with FAO, and to solicit innovative ideas on how FAO and the private sector can work together.

The consultations will contribute to identify common ground to enable the private sector and FAO to work together to achieve the SDGs, and to look at the various forms of collaboration between FAO and the private sector that are needed to respond to the complex global challenges of today and the future.

The consultations seek to develop a broad consensus on the forms and modalities for strategic engagements between FAO the private sector, and to gather the private sector perspective on key issues and bottlenecks that can hinder strategic engagements.

The consultation process involves a series of three virtual sessions, each accompanied by an online discussion on the FSN Forum where views and in-depth answers can be provided to further deepen the conversation. 

To share comments on the questions, please use the form below (registration required). Alternatively, or if you would want to maintain confidentiality, you can submit your comments directly to [email protected].


Session I 2 July 2020, 13:30 – 15:00 CEST


FAO’s new vision – Strategies for complementarity, coherence and coordination between the public and private sectors

Through the first webinar and related online discussion FAO aims to share its new vision on how to leverage synergies across government partners and the business sector as well encourage the participation of the private sector in the development process of the new FAO strategy for engagement with the private sector, and hence raise awareness of FAO’s new vision among current and potential future collaborators.

The session will be moderated by Marcela Villareal, Director of FAO Partnerships Division, introducing on the key objectives of the consultation as well as the need for FAO of a new strategy.

Beth Bechdol, FAO Deputy Director-General, will present the FAO’s new vision on how FAO wants to enhance the engagement with the private sector to achieve sustainable development, and the institutionalization of the relationship with private sector to ensure interventions that are properly integrated and mainstreamed into FAO’s work. Please download Beth Bechdol's presentation here.

The session also envisages the interventions of four guest speakers from the private sector: Cindy Brown, President, Global Pulse Confederation; Suzanne Van Tilburg, Global Head Corporate Relations at Rabobank; Alice Durand-Reville, Corporate Public Affairs Director, Danone.

To share your views and contribute to the discussion, please reply to the following questions:

  1. What – in your view – are the key successful factors for establishing a strategic and productive engagement between the public and private sectors?
  2. What are the most common obstacles to strategic and productive engagements?
  3. From a private sector perspective, what steps are needed to facilitate engagement with the public sector?
  4. How do you envision FAO’s role in facilitating strategic and productive engagements?
  5. Where do you see synergies between your company/sector’s contribution and commitment to achieve the SDGs and FAO’s mandate and areas of work?


Please access the recording of the webinar here.

Session II 14 July 2020, 13:30 – 15:00 CEST


Methods of engagement – Towards a more agile FAO vis-à-vis the Private Sector

FAO would like to expand the way we engage with the private sector beyond the current engagement models (e.g. technical cooperation, capacity building, resource mobilization, policy dialogue, advocacy and communication).

The second session and related online discussion objective is to solicit comments and suggestions and hence foster a broad consensus on which forms and modalities future FAO’s strategic engagements with PS should expand and to gather views on how to address key issues and bottlenecks that prevent to forge effective engagements from a private sector perspective.

The session topic – with focus on FAO’s engagement modalities and the way forward - will be introduced by Beth Bechdol, FAO Deputy Director-General.

Guest speakers include David Crean, Vice President, Corporate R&D Mars Inc,; Keith Sumption, FAO Chief Veterinary Officer; Carina Hakansson, Director-General at Swedish Forest Industries Federation; Brian SullivanSenior Program Manager for Google Earth Outreach.

The session will be moderated by Marcela Villareal, Director Partnerships Division, FAO.

To share your views and contribute to the discussion, please reply to the following questions:

  1. From the private sector perspective, what would be the most critical issues that FAO should address to improve our engagement model to build transformative partnerships with the private sector? 
  2. FAO currently uses few legal instruments to formalize a partnership with the private sector, such as Memorandum of Understanding, Exchange of Letters, Letter of Intent. If we are to increase options to form a partnership with the private sector in a timely and agile manner, what other form of engagement models you would recommend to FAO?
  3. From your own experience in interacting with FAO (at any level), are there any difficulties in communicating with FAO?  If so, how you would like FAO to communicate better with the private sector? 


Please register for this session here:

Session III 20 July 2020, 13:30 – 15:00 CEST


Making it work - What kind of strategic partnerships with the private sector are required for impact in FAO Member Countries

FAO wishes to further its catalytic role in facilitating partnerships with the private sector at national level. Innovative partnerships between the public and private sectors are needed to boost agricultural and to provide new opportunities for smallholder farmers. In agriculture, private-public partnerships (PPPs) have the potential to make a real impact for improving productivity and driving growth in agriculture and food sectors.  This discussion seeks ideas on new ways to ensure positive impacts from partnerships with the private sector which benefit all stakeholders in the agri-food sector in FAO Member Nations  

The 3rd session will focus on the exchange of regional as well as country perspective, with Julio Berdegué, FAO Regional Representative/Assistant Director-General for Latin America and Caribbean presenting FAO’s renewed engagement with the private sector at the regional level, followed by the guest speakers sharing their experiences: Netithorn Praditsarn, Vice President, Group Sustainability and Communications, Charoen Pokphand Group; Pieternel Boogaard, Director Agribusiness, Food and Water; Elizabeth Nyeko, CEO and Co-founder Mandulis Energy and Modularity Grid; Natalia Moreno Rigollot, Director of Global Institutional Relations, Telefónica S.A.

The session will opened by Beth Bechdol, FAO Deputy Director-General and will be moderated by Marcela VillarealDirector Partnerships Division, FAO.

To share your views and contribute to the discussion, please reply to the following questions:

  1. What in your view are critical elements for building strategic public-private partnerships that can result in positive impacts in FAO Member Nations? 
  2. Can you envision, or provide examples of how your company/association, can work with FAO at country level to leverage your resources, networks, expertise, and/or technology to strengthen the results and impact of the collaboration with FAO.  
  3. Please share, if possible, an example of fruitful collaboration with a public entity and/or UN system in which your company was involved, highlighting the decisive factors for success. 


Please register for this session here:

This activity is now closed. Please contact [email protected] for any further information.

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Dear All,

My name is Katarina Eriksson and I am responsible for Partnership Development at Tetra Laval Food for Development. I am also a member of the Swedish Government’s FAO Committee (

Tetra Laval Group companies Tetra Pak and DeLaval together address the whole value chain for milk with its goods, services and expertise, from cow to consumer. Tetra Laval Food for Development is actively driving development of the entire dairy and food value chain in partnerships with dairy processing customers, governments, UN and other development agencies and civil society organisations (CSOs).

Dairy development partnerships are for the most part in the form of Dairy Hub projects. The main objective is to increase the collection of locally produced milk from smallholder farmers for industrial processing and packaging, while at the same time improving skills, efficiency and incomes for large groups of farmers. The contribution from Tetra Laval is mainly technical assistance provided by Food for Development specialists in smallholder milk production and school milk implementation.

The Swedish FAO Committee each year publishes a report. In 2018 the theme was “The private sector as a partner for sustainable development”. This publication highlights three perspectives on private sector engagement in development cooperation – the perspectives of the private sector, public sector and civil society. These perspectives are presented by the Tetra Laval Group, The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). Below and much more is covered in this report that can be downloaded here:

There are several roles for the private sector in development cooperation, including supplying goods and services, sharing its expertise and knowledge, not the least by good CSR practices, and contributing funds or staff to external charity projects. The private sector also increasingly engages in development cooperation as a partner with governments and with UN and other development cooperation agencies. There are many good reasons why partnerships between governments, UN and other development cooperation agencies and the private sector should be encouraged:

• Common goals – the development of value chains contributes to the creation of jobs and incomes, as well as creating markets for private sector goods and services.

• Market linkages – increased outputs of products are not enough; there also has to be a demand for the products. The private sector can assess market potential and enable access to the market.

• Synergies – partnerships have the potential to make more efficient use of resources. In a public private development partnership, all public and private partners contribute funding and/or resources in their respective fields of competence and expertise.

• Sharing the burden of high initial costs – new models and concepts take time to establish and commercial viability may be many years ahead owing to the introduction of new technology, high initial running costs per unit produced, and time-consuming transfer of knowledge. Joint funding can help commercial entities to reach the production volumes and quality required for a sustainable and viable venture.

As with the formation of all kinds of partnerships, there are some challenges with public private development partnerships:

• The partnership must be in the “sweet spot” where commercial and development goals overlap.

• The respective partners’ roles and responsibilities have to be understood and clearly defined, preferably in a memorandum of understanding (MoU) or partnership agreement. Each partner should also follow its own due diligence process to assess its future partner, and decide whether it wants to enter into a partnership with the party concerned.

• Something that is often overlooked is the need for all partners to allocate time and resources in the development phase of a project. These resources are needed if the project is going to be implemented in a reasonable time frame. Also, the better prepared a project is, the higher the chances of all project goals being reached, and the lower the risk of problems and conflicts in the implementation phase.

• Profit making and non-profit making partners have to handle the potential conflict of interest in providing a solid business case on the one hand and the role of profit making when dealing with public goods on the other. This contradiction can be managed, for example by not transferring any public funds to the private sector unless they cover project-specific costs. Another solution is to engage a third-party implementor in order to avoid the transfer of funds to the private sector.

A number of recommendations are also made in the report:

• Allocate resources for the development of partnerships and partnership projects as a core activity and not on a case-by-case basis.

• Look for partnerships where partners’ core businesses and competencies are involved. Make use of the private sector’s ability to create necessary market linkages for long-term viability.

• Respect partners’ different objectives with the partnership and identify the “sweet spot” where goals overlap.

• Clarify partners’ different roles and responsibilities to avoid difficulties during implementation.

• Avoid overly lengthy and complicated due diligence and approval processes, without compromising on quality, especially for smaller-scale interventions.

• Be open to partnerships irrespective of size or budget. It is the results and outreach that matter, not the size of the budget spent. Even very small projects can have a big impact.

Dear All,

As mentioned by a panelist/ speaker, Ms. Elizabeth Nyeko, CEO & Founder, Modularity Grid Ltd., during the third sesssion of webinar held today on 20/07/2020, 

FAO Regional Office for Africa (RAF) has been discussing, with Modularity Grid Ltd., the potential for strengthening collaboration on digitalization and innovation in a broad range of private sector engagement in agriculture and food systems in Africa.

In the light of Covid-19, the initiative aims to promote collection and provision of accurate and timely data on agriculture and food systems in Africa with advanced digital technology and innovation such as satellite image, remote sensing and artificial intelligence (AI), for evidence-based decision making. The issues relating to use and scaling up of these innovations are critical for decision making by various actors, including policy makers, private sector/ value chain actors, small-scale producers/ family farmers as well as development partners.

To better understand the potential for uptake and widespread dissemination of digital innovation a survey is conducted with a wide range of stakeholders in order to validate the findings from an extensive literature review, which included barriers limiting the prevalence of software-enabled or data-driven approaches. An innovation interactive workshop is also planned to elaborate ideas and recommendations for the project, complemented by interviews. We welcome you to join this online survey: [].

Thank you for your kind cooperation!

Best regards,

Kaz Fujiwara

Dear FAO,

I am Jinju Song from Ecobiznet Inc. in Korea. First session was very useful and impressive. Thank you for opening this webinar.

We, Ecobiznet Inc. are an exporter of fermenter and microorganism product for agriculture, fisheries, livestock, and environment with a business background of some 18 years. Our mission is contributing to a clean environment and healthy life for people. In many countries, big amounts of harmful chemicals are still widely used in agriculture, livestock and fisheries as fertilizer, pesticides, antibiotic and herbicide and they leads to numerous problems including soil acidification, mammalian toxicity, animal disease due to the excessive use of antibiotics and etc.

We can easily find organic products in the market and we have seen notice of procurement by FAO that is looking for urea fertilizer or NPK fertilizer but technically they are not organics and they will end up causing environmental pollution and imbalance of ecological system. So we are trying to replace chemicals with natural ones which is microbial biotechnology. Microorganisms that exist anywhere on Earth live in our bodies and everywhere around us. In other words, it is not an exaggeration to say that humans live with microorganisms.

In the meantime, we have come up with a lot of pathogens that are unhealthy and harmful microorganisms, so we have been realized that microorganisms are dirty and dangerous. However, there are so many microorganisms that are very beneficial and effective to our body, animals and environment, such as lactic acid bacteria in fermented foods that we eat. Microbiologists estimate that less than 1% of microbes that exist on Earth are found and produced. As such, there are still many unknown fields to discover and research about microorganisms.

So we Ecobiznet provides Microbial culture system that support comprehensive solution from exploration of excellent strains, high density cultivation technology, fermenter manufacturing technology and reasonable field application of microorganisms so that functional microorganisms can be easily produced in the field in accordance with the intended use by consumers for livestock(feed additives), agriculture(microbial fertilizer/pesticides), aquaculture(feed additives, water purification) and environment(odor removal, environment purification).

We have been trying to cooperate FAO but we realized that people need to understand what microbial biotechnology is, so it will come into request. Do you have any suggestions or advice?