Expert Consultation on the Development of a CFS-RAI Due Diligence Tool for Governments

March 18, 2021 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm CET

Registration for this event is now closed.

(Open to public)

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires a significant increase in investment in agriculture and food systems. In 2015, the first two SDGs alone (eradicating hunger and poverty) were estimated to require an additional USD 140 billion in annual investment in agriculture. The adverse socio-economic effects caused by the health crisis linked to COVID-19 will require this amount to be increased.

With the support of the Swiss Federal Office of Agriculture, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is considering how to develop a suite of tools to encourage additional responsible investment in agriculture and food systems in a manner consistent with the Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems (CFS-RAI).

Two of the tools under consideration are: A due diligence tool for relevant government institutions and others enabling them to assess the extent to which proposed investments in agriculture and food systems are aligned with the CFS-RAI. An ex-ante due diligence tool for agribusinesses to enable alignment of investment and business practices with the CFS-RAI. This consultation will address the due diligence tool for government entities. The agribusiness tool will be the subject of a separate consultation.

The due diligence tool would support investment promotion agencies and other government institutions responsible for attracting, facilitating, and monitoring investment in the agricultural and agri-food sectors to ensure that such investments are carried out responsibly and contribute to sustainable development. More specifically, these institutions could employ the tool to assess whether a proposed investment in agriculture or food systems is likely to be consistent with the CFS-RAI. While there is a multitude of sources of guidance related to investment promotion, none of those resources constitute the broad yet sector-specific due diligence tool contemplated here. Ideally, this resource would fit seamlessly with national investment approval processes.

This consultation is expected to address the following questions:

  • To what extent do government investment promotion agencies and other relevant entities currently attempt to assess whether proposed investments in agricultural or food production or processing are likely to be consistent with relevant aspects of the CFS-RAI?
  • If due diligence or assessment tools are needed to help investment promotion agencies and, where relevant, other government entities, what is the best structure and content?
  • What tools currently exist to help government entities conduct such assessments?

Registration for this event is now closed.