Indian farmers in a rice paddy field

The Zero Hunger Private Sector Pledge

As of December, 10, 2021,  43 companies have pledged a promising USD 391 million in 47 countries as part of the Zero Hunger Private Sector Pledge



The Zero Hunger Private Sector Pledge is an opportunity for companies and investment funds to align their investments with new evidence and commitments by donors, governments, and global institutions to end hunger and nourish the future by 2030.

What are we asking companies to do?

The pledge encourages companies to make an investment in at least one of the 10 high-impact intervention areas from the Ceres2030 evidence and in at least one of the priority countries or regions. The company has to name the partners it will work with to achieve the action. 

table-ceres2030-impact-areas-for investment

The pledge requires companies to comply with host state laws and regulations, and commit to internationally accepted principles, including but not limited to:

  • the Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS-RAI)
  • the International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes
  • the Principles of the UN Global Compact
  • the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights

Why are we asking companies to pledge?

One in every 10 people goes to bed hungry. And most of these people live in Africa and South Asia. Last year, COVID-19 wiped out 15 years of progress in reducing hunger globally. In July 2021, the United Nations announced that 118 million more people were affected by hunger in 2020, taking the number of people with no access to food up to 768 million.


If we cannot deliver on ending hunger and malnutrition, then we have not transformed food systems. This is the litmus test.

A specific set of investments—described by new evidence from Ceres2030, Program of Accompanying Research for Agricultural Innovation (PARI) 2020, and the State of Food Insecurity in the World (SOFI) 2021 are needed to end hunger. These reports show that donors must double current public spending. Governments have to juggle multiple priorities due to the pandemic and the associated economic downturn. This is why large companies can and should step in to increase efforts toward achieving zero hunger by 2030. Transforming food systems to end hunger and malnutrition, ensure safe and nutritious food for all, support sustainable consumption shifts, reduce carbon emissions, generate decent and dignified livelihoods, and build resilience to future shocks requires more and better private sector investments.

Whose idea was the pledge?

The Zero Hunger, Private Sector Pledge is a game-changing solution that emerged from the UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) Action Track 1. The implementing organizations are a coalition of international organizations and partners, namely:  including the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), Grow Africa, Grow Asia, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), the World Benchmarking Alliance, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the World Food Programme

FAO, WFP, Gain, Grow Africa, Grow Asia, WBA, WBCSD, IISD logos

To date, we have mobilized several supporting companies and organized a parallel session during the UNFSS pre-Summit in July, which laid the groundwork for a high-level pledging moment from companies at the Summit in September.

The signing of this pledge does not constitute an endorsement by the project partners and organizations of the company or its activities. The implementing partners and organizations of this pledge are not directly affiliated with the companies through the signing of this pledge. The implementing partners and organizations of this pledge reserve the right to revoke or suspend the pledge if the company fails to comply with the governing principles of the pledge. 

If you are a company and you would like to be part of the official launch on 21 September 2021 please fill in your pledge by midnight CET on Sunday 19 September 2021. Companies can pledge at any time and can pledge multiple times. This initiative will end on 31 December 2030. 

Achieving zero hunger points to a number of “firsts” For the first time, ending hunger is within the world’s grasp: science has given us a clear roadmap on the who, what and where to invest to meet SDG2. 

Lawrence Haddad, Executive Director GAIN and Chair UNFSS Action Track 1

More private sector investment in agri-food sectors in low- and middle-income countries is also needed to realize a drastic change.

Carin Smaller, Director, Agriculture, Trade & Investment IISD


Frequently asked questions and guidance document (english)

Preguntas Frecuentes y Guía para las Empresas (spanish)

Foire aux questions (FAQ) et Document d’orientation pour les entreprises (french)



Project details

Food and Agriculture
Focus area