Guidelines for multinational enterprises

OECD-FAO Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains




Agricultural enterprises are a major source of growth and development. They bring expertise, technology and financing capacities to provide safe and nutritious food to a growing population, and meet our changing energy demands. Enterprises involved in the agricultural sector are critical for the fulfilment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They play a key role in generating quality investment, decent employment and supply chains that benefit producers and consumers.


The OECD-FAO Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains (OECD-FAO Guidance) provides a common framework and globally applicable benchmark to help agri-businesses and investors contribute to sustainable development identify and mitigate adverse impacts. The guidance is relevant for all enterprises across the entire agricultural supply chain, from the farm to the consumer across a wide range of food and non-food commodities.


One of the key value-adds of the OECD-FAO Guidance is the framework on risk-based due diligence. The framework provides a step by step approach on how companies can integrate due diligence into their operations and supply chains. By implementing the recommendations of the OECD-FAO Guidance companies can systematically identify, assess and mitigate potential negative impacts associated with their business.
This OECD-FAO Guidance and due diligence framework was developed in collaboration with supply chain experts, business, civil society, unions and policy makers. It is a practical approach which companies can implement into their business models and processes.

RBC - 5 step framework


Global Pilot on Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains

To support the practical application of the OECD-FAO Guidance the OECD and FAO launched an implementation pilot with over thirty companies and industry initiatives from February 2018 to October 2019.  Many companies in agricultural supply chains have a sophisticated approach to RBC, 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. 

Following the pilot, the OECD and FAO are looking to scale-up awareness and implementation of the guidance globally. As such, actions will be targeted to engaging with key stakeholders such as:

  • Policy makers including the National Contact Points of all 48 country adherents
  • Investors and financial institutions
  • Commodity traders and exchanges
  • Standard setting and certification organisations
  • Industry associations
  • Civil society


Read OECD-FAO Rountable on Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains (2019) for details on potential next steps

 Read the final report

 (October 2019)

  • The report provides lessons learned from the pilot, including examples of good practices and tools (see Annex II). 

 Read the baseline report

 (October 2018)


Southeast Asia Pilot on Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains

As part of the EU-OECD-ILO “Responsible Supply Chains in Asia” programme, the OECD is conducting a pilot on the OECD-FAO Guidance with companies in Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam. This pilot, which started in September 2019, will end in late 2020.

 Find out more about the SEA pilot


 Read the summary note on the SEA pilot



Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains in Latin America
As part of the Responsible Business Conduct in Latin America and the Caribbean programme, the OECD is conducting a baseline review of the agricultural sector in the region.





2019 OECD-FAO Roundtable on Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains

The multi-stakeholder roundtable brought together over 60 policy makers, business, international organisations, civil society, worker representatives and academia in Paris. Drawing from the findings and lessons learned during the pilot project, suggested activities to further promote the uptake of the OECD-FAO Guidance were discussed.  


 News releaseFR

 Summary Report of the Roundtable

 | FR

About the OECD-FAO Guidance

The OECD-FAO Guidance helps enterprises observe standards of responsible business conduct to ensure that their operations contribute to sustainable development and do not lead to adverse impacts.   


The OECD-FAO Guidance includes:

  • A model enterprise policy outlining the company standards
  • A 5 step framework for risk-based due diligence
  • A description of the major risks faced by enterprises
  • A guidance for engaging with indigenous peoples(Annex B in the OECD-FAO Guidance)


The Guidance was developed with the support of a multi-stakeholder advisory group and benefited from feedback received during an online public consultation.


Download the Guidance








Resources and materials



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