The Bogota meeting on the UN’s voluntary Food and Agriculture Business principles (FABs) attracted over 70 stakeholders from government, associations, UN agencies, NGOs and the private sector.
Colombia, known for its rolling hills, delicious coffee and famous football stars, also hosted the scene for a regional conference on the topic of Food and Agriculture Business principles. The event took place March 26 with support of Yara Public Affairs, the UN Global Compact (UNGC) Local Network and the Chamber of Commerce of Bogota.
"By supporting the UN in these regional consultations, Yara shows our support to ensure that countries like Colombia have ownership of the development agenda, and the importance of involving them in decision-making that normally takes place in New York headquarters," says Natalia Federighi, Director Yara Public Affairs & Institutional Relations.
Focus on smallholders
The UNGC FABs aim to emphasize the positive impact that business can play in delivering practical, effective and scalable solutions to meet the global challenges of food security and sustainable agriculture.
"Increasing the income of smallholder farmers is very important for Yara. By increasing the productivity of land, with the appropriate type of fertilizers and agronomic knowledge, we make an impact in Colombia," says Olaf Hektoen, Business Unit Manager of Yara Latin America.
"We believe that the country-led business community should be engaged as a primary partner in this historic endeavor and that business - working in long term partnerships with the public sector - can best contribute to implementation efforts to reach Post-2015 objectives in the years and decades to come," Natalia adds.
Discussing FAB principles
Important speakers in Bogota included Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director Paula Caballero, who is driving the issue of food security and nutrition worldwide within the UN's Post-2015 development agenda, Ministry of Agriculture Director Andres Silva, FAO Deputy Director Iván Felipe León Ayala, UNGC Executive Director in Colombia Mauricio Lópe, and Olaf Hektoen.
The objective of the consultation was to discuss local scope, understanding and validity of the six FAB principles laid down by the Global Compact initiative worldwide.
The FAB principles aim to encourage business to: Aim for Food Security, Health and Nutrition; Be Environmentally Responsible; Ensure Economic Viability and Share Value; Respect Human Rights, Create Decent Work and Help Rural Communities to Thrive; Encourage Good Governance and Accountability; and Promote Access and Transfer of Knowledge, Skills and Technology.
"Supporting these UN events gives Yara a chance to show its leadership role through Creating Impact," says Natalia, "anchoring corporate sustainability in our business strategy - and encouraging others to adopt a principles and values-based management and approach. This means the delivery of long-term value in financial, environmental, social, and ethical terms."
"Yara supports the ambitious goal of eradicating hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition by 2025, as agreed last year in the global consultation on food security and nutrition, led by the governments of Colombia and Spain," says Olaf Hektoen.
"For this to happen, we need to stimulate sustainable food production throughout the value chain while ensuring that all people have access to quality food."