New agri-business alliance formed to help deliver SDGs

A coalition of 36 leading agri-businesses have joined forces to launch the Global Agri-business Alliance (GAA), aiming to tackle environmental and social challenges affecting agricultural supply chains and rural communities worldwide.

The Singapore-based initiative seeks to provide a cooperative platform to help significantly contribute to delivering the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) across the agricultural sector – giving specific focus to helping end hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition and improve sustainable agriculture.

The core objectives of this collective of “front-line” agriculture production experts will be to improve rural livelihoods and working conditions, mitigate climate risks and manage natural capital sustainability.

The GAA brings together growers and producers, traders, agri-service providers, agri-tech suppliers, and a variety of other food and non-food agriculture specialists to create a diverse and informed forum.

The Alliance is comprised of businesses from across the world – including Olam International and AFGRI – that deal in multiple commodities and agro-chemicles. These highly influential businesses are hoping to provide stewardship of natural resources and rural communities.

Commenting on the announcement, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Climate Change David Nabarro said: “Achieving the SDGs by 2030 will change our world: eradicating poverty, tackling climate change and ensuring a prosperous, safe and healthy future for our children and grandchildren.”

“The SDGs also represent investment opportunities for responsible businesses, and are essential for sustainable economic growth. Achieving the SDGs will only be possible with the full commitment of the business community, transforming their business models to deliver also social and environmental value, and working in partnership with the public sector and civil society. The launch of the Global Agri-business Alliance is excellent news for the SDGs.”

Business goals

The announcement comes in the same week that Swedish multinational home appliance manufacturer Electrolux set up its new Food Foundation to support the SDGs. The foundation aims to inspire better food consumption, cooking habits and maximise sustainable health choices.

Earlier this year, the Secretary-General of the UN called on business, governments and local authorities to adopt new ways of thinking that align the “critical challenges of our time” with operational models and frameworks such as the SDGs.

A number of companies are already complying with the framework. Speaking exclusively to edie, Unilever’s Aline Santos claimed that the SDGs had clarified which megatrends need to be accounted for by business, while International brewing company SABMiller has tweaked its CSR strategy to align with trends outlined in the Goals.

Alex Baldwin

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