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Publication | 27 May 2021

OECD FAO Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains

Global Food and Nutrition Security

The Guidance intends to help enterprises observe existing standards for responsible business conduct (RBC) along agricultural supply chains, including the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. It aims to prevent risks of adverse environmental, social and human rights impacts, providing a potentially useful complement to the work of the National Contact Points (NCPs) which are tasked with furthering the effectiveness of the OECD Guidelines. It can help governments, particularly NCPs, in their efforts to promote the OECD Guidelines and in clarifying existing standards in the agricultural sector.

The Guidance refers to existing standards to help enterprises observe them and undertake risk-based due diligence. It only refers to the parts of the OECD Guidelines and other standards that are most relevant to agricultural supply chains and does not aim to substitute them.

  • The Guidance considers existing standards that are relevant for responsible business conduct along agricultural supply chains, including:
  • The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (OECD Guidelines);
  • The Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS-RAI Principles);
  • The Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security of the Committee on World Food Security (VGGT);
  • The Principles for Responsible Agricultural Investment that Respects Rights, Livelihoods and Resources developed by FAO, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the World Bank (PRAI);
  • The Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights [Implementing the UN ‘Protect, Respect and Remedy’ Framework] (UN Guiding Principles);
  • The International Labour Organization Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy (ILO MNE Declaration);
  • The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), including the Akwé: Kon Voluntary Guidelines;
  • The Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (Aarhus Convention).

Providing guidance to enterprises involved in agricultural supply chains on how to observe existing RBC standards is essential to prevent adverse impacts and ensure that agricultural investments benefit enterprises, governments and communities and contribute to sustainable development, and in particular poverty reduction, food security and gender equality