October 3, 2014 – As the Plenary session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) draws nearer, a cross-section of industry representatives are preparing to be present in Rome on Monday 13 October for the Round Table policy debates to emphasise the following points on food losses and waste:
- Reducing food losses and waste is a core to how businesses function, as it offers an important way to maximize efficiency and returns.
- The private sector is already actively addressing the issue of food losses and waste in its own operations, through supply chains, and by providing services and products to help others reduce waste and losses.
- The private sector’s efforts need to be supported by sound policies as well as public investments in key areas, such as infrastructure, to be able to grow in scale and maximize impact and minimizing post-harvest losses.
- Discussions to date have placed great emphasis on loss and waste at the retail stage. However it is important to tackle the issue through the supply chain and to recognise the need to address the roles of other actors, such as consumers, in reducing loss and waste.
23 September, 2014 – Private sector actors from farmers, to traders, to food companies and input providers, are self-organising their input into the 2nd International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) – an inter-governmental meeting on nutrition organised by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) from 19-21 November 2014.
The process has now been formalized by the co-organizers at FAO and WHO. The participation of the Private Sector shall be coordinated through the Private Sector Steering Committee (PSSC). The PSSC is comprised of the Private Sector Mechanism (PSM), the Sun Business Network (SBN) and the International Dairy Federation (IDF) on behalf of the livestock sector. The PSSC is tasked to arrange the engagement of the private sector in the ICN2 process and be the main interlocutor of the two agencies in arranging the engagement of the private sector in the ICN2 process. Private sector engagement will be self-organised, and develop mechanisms to call for open and transparent participation of private sector of all sizes and from all regions.
One hundred Private Sector representatives will be invited to the event on 19th-21st November at the FAO headquarters in Rome. On the 18th of November there will be a chance for Private Sector participants to present their thoughts on ICN2 to the Director-General of FAO, Mr. Graziano da Silva. Nominations for Private Sector participation can be made though the IAFN website here.
This week, private sector actors are in Geneva for the negotiations on the final ICN2 texts. To read an update from the United States Council for International Business (USCIB) click here.
8 August, 2014 – In Rome, private sector representatives have expressed extreme dismay with the lack of recognition of the role of farmers in new Principles on Responsible Agricultural Investment. The Principles, to be endorsed by the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in October, fail to recognise that farmers – in all their sizes – are a vital part of our agricultural system.
The document as currently worded suggests that being a farmer is not a valid self-identity – having to pick whether they are “smallholders” or “business”. It disrespects their established role around other UN processes and most of all it ignores their primary role in producing the world’s food. Private sector representatives have spoken on the Plenary floor, stating that this is a sad message to take back to farmer organisations around the world.
The private sector has had a seat at every stage of the two-year negotiation process through the International Agri-Food Network (IAFN) and has made the case that the Principles, being voluntary, must have a positive focus if businesses and states are to commit to them.