The Global Agri-business Alliance said it wants to collaboratively improve rural lives, mitigate climate change and promote sustainable agriculture ©123RF
The Global Agri-business Alliance said it wants to collaboratively improve rural lives, mitigate climate change and promote sustainable agriculture ©123RF

Agri-businesses rally to tackle sustainability challenges

Agricultural businesses worldwide have formed an alliance to tackle the environmental, social and sustainability challenges the industry faces.

The Global Agri-businesses Alliance (GAA) claims to be the only private sector alliance to have members from the entire agricultural supply chain for both food and non-food products.

The alliance was recently launched at the Building Sustainable Futures Forum in Singapore.

The GAA charter sets out the organisation’s aims to “collaboratively improve rural livelihoods, mitigate the impact of climate change, sustainably manage natural capital [and] contribute to global food and nutrition security”.

The GAA said it wanted to help achieve UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to increase food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.

GAA said its activities would include setting goals and targets to be “jointly undertaken by members”. It said focus areas would be collectively decided and could include improving water efficiency or reducing post-harvest losses.

It will also establish working groups, develop tools and resources for its members, agree a measurement and reporting methodology and work to “remove structural and policy barriers that prevent the agri-business” from contributing to the SDGs.

Any agri-company can become a member as long is it meets the GAA's two main criteria: to contribute towards achieving the SDGs and to be accountable and transparent in its delivery of GAA aims. 

GAA said it would also work with affiliate members, organisations with a stake in agriculture, including consumer groups and educational institutions. 

Among its initial 36 members include South African agricultural services and food processing company AFGRI; Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi Corporation; rubber company Halcyon Agri; palm oil plantation company gar agribusiness and food; and Malaysia based Sime Darby.

Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Mohd Bakke Salleh, president and group chief executive of Sime Darby said: "In 35 years we will need to feed 9.7bn people… Our greatest challenge is to balance food and water demands while ensuring environmental sustainability and social equity. The GAA is a platform for these discussions and hopefully to find solutions.”

David Nabarro, a special advisor to the UN Secretary General, said at the launch event that GAA was “excellent news for the SDGs”.

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