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Remarks by Hakan Bahceci, Chairman of International Agri-Food Network

Private Sector meets with the Director General of FAO

Dr. Director General,

Thank you for taking the time to meet with us today. We truly welcome this opportunity and hope this is the continuation of a fine tradition.

This year our delegation to CFS is broader than ever. We have 90 delegates attending from 30 countries. Our teams come from different parts of the food chain, from farmers to traders and manufacturers.

We believe our delegation’s strength and diversity reflects the positive evolution of our relationship to CFS and to FAO. For example, we deeply appreciate the opening of an office space for the PSM secretariat here.

It is very helpful for our team and is a welcome indicator of your commitment to long-term engagement with our sector. We were so pleased to have Marcela Villarreal join us for the ribbon cutting ceremony yesterday. Thank you for your kind remarks Marcela, and we too felt it was a significant moment.

In the past few months, we’ve also seen some important developments in terms of other areas of engagement. I would like to extend our gratitude to FAO generally, and to you personally, for your help in securing engagement for non-state actors at the International Conference on Nutrition in November. The opportunity to have 100 delegates and to have clear modalities with FAO for this event is a tremendously important development. We appreciate the efforts of Rodrigo Castaneda and Daniele Volpe to accommodate our enthusiastic delegation.

We have more than 70 delegates already registered for ICN2 and there are more wishing to participate every day. The private sector wants to send a strong signal about the importance of nutrition and the role we can all play to end hunger and malnutrition.

Similarly, we were able to host a side event on market access for pulses during the recent meeting of the Committee on Commodity Problems. It is the first time we do so and it was a valuable opportunity. We hope to be able to see further engagement around other FAO meetings as we go forward.

It has been a very positive few months, and I know how much our own meeting last year sent a signal to all of us that it is time for a new level of engagement here. In addition to participating, we in business are ready to act. We hope to work with you to develop partnerships that mobilize the power of business – not as donor – but as truly a partner in delivering solutions.

PSM remains pleased to discuss the opportunity to second someone to assist with partnerships processes with private sector who has experience working on public-private partnerships, if that would help to increase capacity at FAO. We have many businesses and associations here eager to partner with you.

To that end, we look forward to good news for the fertilizer sector shortly. Recognizing that the group is large, we have also organised ourselves by sector:

  • farmers
  • inputs
  • livestock
  • fisheries
  • grain trade
  • processors

finance and investment

There is one person per group designated for remarks, though I assure you sir, if time allows many others would be pleased to speak.

As always, sir, it is an honour to be in your presence.


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