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Role and Composition of the CFS Advisory Group

The Private Sector Mechanism operates under modalities available at www.agrifood.net. The PSM holds an annual meeting and has an election process in place on a two year cycle. We happily accept registrations to engage at the CFS and operate a committee system to allow private sector actors to participate in areas of the greatest relevance to them.

The PSM supports a diversity of actors at CFS. The PSM believes in the principle of self-organising and we emphasise the importance of encouraging all Advisory Group representatives to have modalities to enable larger participation in a transparent manner.

The PSM calls for parity of seats with the CSM, given the breadth of the private sector actors involved at CFS. The private sector also encourages the inclusion of two farmer seats on the Advisory Group to recognize the unique role of farmers in food security discussions. Any change in seats on the Advisory Group should be inclusive though not unmanageable.

In PSM engagement at the Advisory Group we advocate for:

  • The relevance and utility of CFS
  • CFS to handle issues which are important, non-duplicative, and likely to result in action
  • Increased utility of CFS outcomes including fostering the convening power of CFS to engage actors with the capacity to act
  • To maintain a time-controlled environment so that CFS can be an efficient and relevant decision maker
  • To ensure CFS uses precious resources of time and funds in the most cost-effective, focused manner possible

Soros Economic Development Fund has announced a US$5 million investment in GADCO

As part of an effort to build sustainable businesses in Africa and fight poverty, the Soros Economic Development Fund has announced a US$5 million investment in GADCO, a Ghanaian agriculture company.

GADCO was a featured presenter during the first IAFN side event on responsible agricultural investment in 2011. Their model clusters small producers around a medium-sized farm that boasts processing and transport capacity. The aim is to boost rice production while improving the livelihoods of thousands of subsistence farmers.

SEDF’s commitment to GADCO will help smallholder farmers produce and sell rice on a large, commercial scale. The investment aims to reduce Ghana’s dependence on imported rice and consequent obligation to pay world market prices, by increasing and stabilizing rice production within the country.

Stewart Paperin, president of the Soros Economic Development Fund says that “Ghana has the potential to be an agribusiness leader on the continent”.

International Year of Pulses 2016

The International Pulse Trade and Industries Confederation, CICILS, has set aside $1.1 million in a CICILS account to fund activities that will form contributions to the United Nations International Year of Pulses 2016. The Year will be a key opportunity to promote the benefits of pulses to food security; health & nutrition; rural livelihoods and environmental sustainability.

In addition to this funding, CICILS is working to raise further funds and in-kind contributions to make the year a success, for example through the FAO trust fund by member states. Activities are already underway with national promotional groups worldwide, from China, to the UK, to Brazil and North America. The UN, the pulse sector, scientists, civil society and others are encouraged to give support for progressive goals for the year and innovative partnerships to implement them.

To read more click here.

Private Sector Mechanism at the Committee on World Food Security (CFS)

A 60-person delegation of business leaders was present at the 40th Plenary session of CFS in Rome, in order to share expertise and experiences in the fight against hunger and the UN’s Strategic Objectives on food and agriculture.

Among the many highlights of the week was a meeting between the private sector delegation and the Director General of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Jose Graziano da Silva.

Exploration of private sector partnerships is of increasing importance at global level. More information can be found on FAO’s website, as well as a write-up and a picture of the private sector delegation with Graziano da Silva http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/202170/icode/

Created in 1996, the International Agri-Food Network is an informal coalition of international trade associations involved in the agri-food sector at the global level. The aim of the network is to facilitate informal liaison among the professional organizations and towards international organizations in the agri-food chain at global level. The network represents the agri-food business group in a number of international settings, such as the Committee on World Food Security and Nutrition (CFS).

Members of the International Agri-Food Network include thousands of international companies, and hundreds of national associations which represent tens of thousands of small and medium enterprises, thousands of co-operatives, and millions of farmers. For instance, together ICA’s member co-operatives represent nearly 1 billion individuals.

In addition, IAFN works collaboratively with the International Chamber of Commerce and the Farming First coalition. IAFN also consults with an array of other associations and companies that have expressed interest in the work of the UN Committee on World Food Security through a process entitled the private sector mechanism (PSM).

Those wishing to contact the Network can address any of the participating associations or the focal point. The chairpersonship passes from one association to another on a voluntary basis. The current focal point is indicated on the Network’s web site.

Participation is open to any association representing a private sector in the agri-food chain at the global level. Sectors currently involved are listed on this page. Several other sectors that do not yet have an established truly international organization may attend through regional associations. The International Agri-Food Network has been a model for similar groupings at national and regional levels for more than a decade now.

The associations which comprise the Network have members in 135 of the 193 countries in the UN. Download and view the Complete List of Countries with Members (PDF 651KB).

Key Meetings

Annual General Meeting
May 15-17, 2014
Register for the Annual General Meeting 2014

Committee on Food Security
October 13-18, 2014 | Rome, Italy
Register for CFS 2014

UN Global Compact meeting on the Principles for Sustainable Soil Management
March 14 2014 | Bonn, Germany

FAO Africa Regional Conference
March 24-28 | Tunisia

FAO Europe and Central Asia Regional Conference
April 1-4 | Bucharest, Romania

CFS Open Ended Working Group on RAI
April 29 2014 | Rome, Italy

FAO Latin America and Caribbean Regional Conference
May 6-9 2014 | Santiago, Chile

VG GT 2 Years On - Where we are and where we're going
May 14 2014 | Rome, Italy

CFS final negotiations on RAI
May 19-23, 2014 | Rome, Italy

FAO & WHO 2nd International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2)
November 19-21 2014 | Rome, Italy

Current Chairperson

Hakan Bahceci
CICILS - International Pulse Trade and Industry Confederation

IAFN representative to the Advisory Group of the Committee on Food Security

Katia Sambin
CICILS - International Pulse Trade and Industry Confederation


Robynne Anderson
Secretariat to the International
Agri-Food Network