As the demand for food increases, agriculture will continue to attract growing investment, particularly in developing countries where investment stocks in agriculture are relatively low. New actors in the sector may be confronted with ethical dilemmas and find it difficult to uphold widely-supported standards of responsible business conduct (RBC), notably in countries with weak governance and insecure land rights.
Investors should thus implement due diligence to ensure that their investments are sustainable and bring long-term benefits to home and host countries, especially small-scale farmers and rural communities.
In this context, the OECD and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO) are developing due diligence guidance to help enterprises observe existing widely-supported standards for RBC along agricultural supply chains. This guidance will assist the National Contact Points of countries adhering to the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises to mediate any alleged breaches of the RBC recommendations contained in the Guidelines.
To lead this work, a multi-stakeholder Advisory Group was established in October 2013. It comprises OECD and non-OECD countries, business, civil society and international organisations. It meets regularly through conference calls and meetings.
The multi-stakeholder consultations facilitated by the Advisory Group will:
- facilitate the sharing of experiences; and
- identify and mitigate the risks faced by enterprises along agricultural supply chains.
LINKS AND DOCUMENTS
OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises
FAO work on responsible investment
Public consultation on the FAO-OECD Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains
Policy Framework for Investment in Agriculture
OECD work on international investment
OECD work on agriculture