Cacao on wooden table

Ensuring Responsible and Sustainable Agricultural Practices by Assessing Agribusinesses’ Compliance With the CFS-RAI

In July 2020, with support from the governments of Luxembourg, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein, Appui au Développement Autonome (ADA) created the Smallholder Safety Net Upscaling Programme (SSNUP). Its main goal is to strengthen smallholder households worldwide by increasing their productivity and resilience.  

In collaboration with the SSNUP, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is conducting up to 10 case studies on investees (agribusinesses in various segments of the food and agriculture value chains) of impact investors such as Credit Agricole, Incofin, Oikocredit, and Symbiotics. The purpose of the case studies is to analyze their performance and compliance with the Committee on World Food Security’s Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems (CFS-RAI). These RAI case studies will give insight into what “responsible and sustainable practices” means for agricultural value chain actors, contribute to fostering the adoption of these practices, and, ultimately, improve development outcomes for local farmers, communities, and other stakeholders. Investees of the International Fund for Agricultural Development’s (IFAD) Agri-Business Capital (ABC) Fund (managed by Bamboo Capital) are also included among these 10 case studies (the ABC Fund has now joined the SSNUP).  

In a related activity, IISD and CERISE are developing a “RAI Scoring Tool” that provides a systematic framework to diagnose the degree to which an agribusiness’s management of its operations, practices, and procedures are consistent with the CFS-RAI. The tool is designed to be used by agricultural value chain actors themselves (with support, if they are relatively small), investors, and others. IISD is using this tool as one basis for collecting information on investees for the case studies. This process also allows IISD and CERISE to pilot and test the tool with companies and refine it as needed. 

Based on the case study research and fieldwork, feedback and recommendations will be given to both investors and investees on areas for potential improvement. Outputs from the project will include the case studies themselves, an overall report, and “vignettes” (a series of stories and examples arising from the research that can guide agribusinesses in making their business practices compliant with the CFS-RAI). The RAI Scoring Tool will also be an output, and a guide on its use is planned. 

Project details