16 May 2014

UN Global Compact launches sustainable agriculture principles

The sustainable development arm of the United Nations has announced six principles for sustainable food production with the aim of ensuring that it is environmentally friendly and economically viable.

The UN Global Compact announced the principles in Rome this week in a move that is seen as crucial for sustainable development, with recently released figures suggesting that the global population will reach nine billion by 2050.

The principles outline the central role of environmentally responsible practises, creating shareholder value, assisting communities, and promoting access to information, knowledge and skills.

The Compact’s head of food and agriculture, Puvan Selvanathan, said: “The Food and Agriculture Business Principles establish a set of values for companies in this sector wanting to act responsibly, by bridging between their practices and the public good outcomes sought by policymakers. We welcome all farmers and agribusinesses – regardless of size, crop or location – to make this principle-based commitment and show their overall orientation toward corporate sustainability”.

Recently released figures from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) revealed that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agriculture, forestry and fisheries have almost doubled over the past 50 years.

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