No country can develop without a thriving private sector. Most developing countries have a large share of their GDP in agriculture, feeding the local population and providing important export revenues. The need for a strong private sector is even greater in developing countries.
Back in February this year, in close cooperation with the UN Global Compact and Member of the European Parliament Paolo de Castro, and in March in Colombia in close cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce of Bogotá , Yara invited major stakeholders to discuss business principles in aid of reaching sustainable business goals.
To provide more background on the Food and Agriculture Business (FAB) principles, Natalia Federighi, Director Public Affairs & Institutional Relations in Yara International here explains what the FAB principles are all about and how businesses can contribute to inclusive economic growth in a sustainable manner benefiting the society and the environment.
Cultivating healthy value chains
FAB principles originate in the call for responsible businesses to align to the goals of the United Nations, as articulated by the Rio+20. They provide important strategic guidance to all business in the value chain—from cultivation to retailing. Even when smallholder farms are the dominant productive units, few are able to thrive unless they organize themselves as agribusinesses. More and more are finding it useful to follow the emerging consensus on voluntary goal setting as the FAB principles, developed by the United Nations Global Compact:
1.Aim for Food Security, Health and Nutrition;
2.Be Environmentally Responsible;
3.Ensure Economic Viability and Share Value – throughout the value chain;
4.Respect Human Rights, Create Decent Work and Help Rural Communities to Thrive;
5.Encourage Good Governance and Accountability; and
6.Promote Access and Transfer of Knowledge, Skills and Technology.
“Private firms adhering to the principles provides nutritious food in a sustainable way, helping to meet global needs, with improved resource efficiency and sharing value across the entire value chain from farmers to consumers”, explains Natalia.
Answering to FAB principles
Being responsible and following FAB principles means planning a business model that allows you to grow, integrating sustainability concerns into your business strategy. Developing quality foodstuffs with high, nutritional value for the people, and communicating it to the society which will benefit the position of the products in respect to competitors.
FAB principles help accountability and transparency. Transparency creates the right enabling environment to be competitive and to facilitate partnerships which will realize the sustainable transformation of food and agricultural systems.
Food and Agriculture Business principles means investing in sustainable food systems, in agriculture development models that are comprehensive and can be multiplied, that cover all elements such as access to financing facilities that complement existing commercial and donor funds to help establish new agribusiness investments, investing in market development and supply last mile delivery.
“These principles, if applied in developing countries, may create an enabling environment for more responsible governance in the private sector, thus strengthening these key actors for development. The time has come for a new culture to take us in a new direction”, Natalia concludes.
This article was published in GREAT Insights Volume 3, Issue 6 (June 2014).