January 29, 2015 – Hakan Bahceci, Chair of the International Agri Food Network, currently features on the website of FAO Director General José Graziano da Silva, amid his campaign to run for a second term in office. Hakan Bahceci has joined hundreds of global actors to call for the strengthening of partnerships in global agri-food discussions and commend the achievements of recent years, which have seen increased meaningful participation of businesses and an office for the Private Sector Mechanism at the FAO alongside other stakeholders.
In addition, FAO has released a video celebrating its partnerships with businesses, civil society and other external stakeholders. The video, which features Esin Mete, President of the International Fertilizer Industry Association, can be viewed here
The dates for the PSM and IAFN annual meetings in Rome have been fixed for 12 & 13 May and businesses from across the agri-food value chain are invited to register through our website.
In addition, the International Agri-Food Network has drafted its work plan for 2015, with specific focus on bringing insights and experience on the following issues at the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS):
- 90 person delegation at the 42nd UN Committee on World Food Security, 12-17 October (register here)
- Implementation process of the 2014 Principles on Responsible Agricultural Investment
- 25 June High-Level Forum on Connecting Smallholders to Markets
- Input from Rome into the Post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals
- Round Table “A Plan of Action to Build Knowledge, Skills, and Talent Development to Further Food and Nutrition Security”
- HLPE renewal, as well as its work on water and food security, and livestock
- The next steps for the outcomes of the 2nd International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2)
There was an enormous sense of increased momentum at the IAFN in 2014, making for a record-breaking year for the private sector at CFS. Reports from the PSM’s Side Events, High Level Dinner on Talent Development in Agriculture, ICN2 and more… can be found on our website under ‘CFS 2014 private sector engagement’.
2014 by the numbers:
- 90 person delegation of business leaders from 42 countries gathered twice in Rome: CFS Plenary (October) & ICN2 (November)
- More than 75 bilateral meetings were organised with FAO member countries and UN Agencies
- 6 PSM work groups resourced
- 5 UN documents negotiated
- 47 global business leaders in attendance of meetings and negotiations on the Principles on Responsible Agricultural Investment – statement on the final Principles here
- 2 meetings with the Director General of the FAO, José Graziano da Silva
- 1 meeting with Assistant Director General of the World Health Organization, Dr. Oleg Chestnov
- 1 office space given to the PSM at FAO Head Quarters
- 1 annual meeting (May), in person, in Rome
The private sector was pleased to have the opportunity to address the closing session of ICN2. At the first such conference in 22 years, the speakers conveyed the message that nutrition cannot wait another 22 years for new activity. Emphasizing the role of multi-stakeholder engagement in kickstarting new programs to address nutritional challenges, they spoke to the need to take specific actions to tackle challenges like food safety, nutritional education and targeted interventions to address stunting.
Speakers on behalf of the private sector:
- Marie Konate, CEO, Protein Kissée Là, Cote d’Ivoire
- David Crean, Vice President Corporate R&D, Mars, USA
- Nico van Belzen, Director General, International Dairy Federation, Belgium
More than 90 businesses and private sector entities participating in Rome at ICN2. While the delegation represented a broad cross section interests, it was united in the belief that nutritional interventions must be prioritised, particularly geared to addressing the needs of women, children, and the most vulnerable. This requires progressive programming – geared to challenges like stunting – and a willingness to work together. Innovation, research, education and trade are essential to improving access to quality foods. All of which is underpinned by the essential role of agriculturalists to produce the food we eat.
On behalf of the private sector mechanism, Robynne Anderson, secretariat to the International AgriFood Network, thanked FAO, and WHO for the opportunity to have non-state actors participate, including civil society and private sector. “The Private Sector is pleased to have been part of this process, which will reinvigorate efforts to address nutrition,” noted Anderson. “Collaboration between government, the private sector and civil society is essential to affecting real and lasting change for hungry and malnourished people.”
The IAFN collaborated with the SUN Business Network and the international livestock sector for the event. A press release from the International Dairy Federation (IDF) can be pdf read here (PDF 440KB) (439 KB) .