May 5

Analysis: How Responsible Business Boosts the Agriculture Sector

Imagine an agricultural sector without child labour. A fair wage for farm workers and a fair income for farmers and food producers. Food grown with respect for the environment, and water pollution a distant memory. Reaching these goals is possible with the right business approach.

Responsible business conduct is a hot topic of global conversation, and FAO has been at the centre of this discourse in agriculture for several years. In 2016, FAO and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) launched the OECD-FAO Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains, a global standard for addressing risk and development in the agricultural sector. A growing number of governments around the world have since been incorporating the OECD-FAO Guidance into their corporate sustainability policies, linking together investment, enterprise, agriculture and development.

Due diligence: a gateway to development?

The OECD-FAO Guidance recommends that businesses implement due diligence to address the most significant environmental and social risks associated with their agricultural supply chains. Due diligence is the process through which enterprises can identify, assess, mitigate, prevent and account for how they address the actual and potential adverse impacts of their activities as an integral part of business decision-making and risk management systems. In a rising number of countries, governments have introduced legislation that makes due diligence mandatory for companies. The due diligence process helps businesses identify issues and come up with solutions to the adverse impacts of their actions.

Photo courtesy of Global Water Forum.

Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (link opens in a new window)

Agriculture, Environment
supply chains