Agricultural enterprises are a major source of growth and development. They bring expertise, technology, and financing capacities to provide safe and nutritious food to growing populations 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 provides a common framework and globally applicable benchmark to help agri-businesses and investors contribute to sustainable development to 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.
In particular, the guidance includes a framework for risk-based due diligence which provides a step-by-step approach to how companies can integrate due diligence into their operations and supply chains. By implementing these recommendations, companies can systematically identify, assess and mitigate potential negative impacts associated with their business.
This guidance and its due diligence framework were developed in collaboration with supply chain experts, businesses, civil society, unions, and policymakers. It is a practical approach that companies can implement into their business models and processes.
Forthcoming handbooks on risk-based due diligence
To guide businesses from commitment to action, the OECD and partners are developing technical handbooks for companies of any size and any position in the global supply chain to identify, prevent and address specific risks in the agricultural sector. Forthcoming handbooks will focus on effective implementation of risk-based due diligence to help companies avoid and address adverse impacts on people, the environment and society and contribute to sustainable development. These will be designed through a participatory multi-stakeholder process, building on the OECD recommendations on due diligence and drawing on current good practices, tools and data.
Deforestation and forest degradation in agricultural supply chains
Child labour and forced labour in the cocoa supply chain
Living incomes and living wages in agricultural supply chains and garment and footwear supply chains
G7 Sustainable Supply Chains Initiative
The OECD supports G7 governments in working with global food and agriculture businesses to take action to improve the sustainability, resilience and climate impact of global food supply chains. As part of this work, the G7 Sustainable Supply Chains Initiative is bringing together leading food and agriculture companies from G7 countries to commit to taking action that will improve the environmental, social and nutritional impact of their operations and supply chains.
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 engage with key stakeholders such as:
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 runs from September 2019 to end-2020.
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 policymakers, businesses, 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.
Specific tools for agri-business