Understanding current due diligence practices in agricultural supply chains

On February 16, 2018 the OECD and FAO officially launched the Pilot Project on the OECD-FAO Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains (the OECD-FAO Guidance) at the OECD headquarters in Paris.

Over 30 leading enterprises and industry initiatives operating in North America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America are participating in the initiative. Participants include global consumer brands, retailers, producers, financial enterprises investing in land and agricultural projects, as well as industry programmes, associations and cooperatives seeking to support their membership base in strengthening their responsible sourcing practices.

Establishing a baseline against the OECD-FAO Guidance

The objective of the pilot is to road-test the practical application of the OECD-FAO Guidance and support businesses in implementing its key recommendations for strengthening their approach to responsible business conduct in the agricultural sector. As announced in a previous blog post, Kumi has been commissioned by the OECD and the FAO to coordinate pilot activities.

As a first step, participants have been asked to complete a baseline survey. We have developed the survey to assess where participants currently stand in relation to the recommendations set out in the OECD-FAO Guidance and to identify potential gaps and opportunities for improving companies’ supply chain due diligence.

The survey is structured around the five-step framework outlined in the OECD-FAO Guidance for conducting risk-based due diligence in agricultural supply chains. It also integrates questions around key recommendations for corporate policies and risk identification and risk management practices. Issues covered include human rights, labour rights, health and safety, food security and nutrition, tenure rights, animal welfare, governance, natural resources and technology and innovation.

Next steps

We will present our findings from the survey in a baseline report that will be launched at an OECD and FAO-led multi-stakeholder forum scheduled for June 2018. The baseline report will help shape the conversation, that will be further developed through other pilot programme activities, around the key challenges and opportunities for strengthening due diligence practices in the agricultural sector. We will provide further updates as the project progresses.

If you wish to learn more about the OECD-FAO Pilot Project or the support we can provide on developing and implementing responsible sourcing practices in the agricultural sector, please do not hesitate in getting in touch.