The Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems

On 15 October, the member states of the Committee on World Food Security at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) unanimously adopted the Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems.

More than 821 million people worldwide are starving and 2 billion people are suffering from malnutrition. Public and private investment in the agricultural sector and the entire value-added chain are therefore urgently requied in many parts of the world in order to sustainably improve the food situation. But this investment must be made in a responsible manner in order to serve this aim; for the first time, there is now a body of regulations to ensure this.

Investments should benefit the people in developing and threshold countries

The aim of the so-called RAI Principles (Principles for Respondible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems) is to ensure that investments benefit the people in developing and threshold countries. The Principles are the result of a multi-annual consultation and negotiation process of the states, with the extensive participation of both industry and civil society, within the FAO committee on World Food Security.

In contrast to the elaboration of other guidelines on the structuring of investments, representatives of small farmers, fishermen and workers in the agricultural sector, i.e. those directly affected by food security, as well as private investors and foundations, this time actually sat at the table with the state representatives. This large group of participants provides a high degree of legitimacy to the Principles and sets them apart from other international instruments intended to structure investment.

Germany manages to have important food-security aims enshrined

The Federal Government of Germany supported the work on the principles from the very start and was able, during the course of the negotiations, to have some of its key food-security aims enshrined in the Principles. The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) has for many years lent its support to realising the right to food on a global scale and has been committed to elaborating new guidelines and standards under international law that describe the duties of states and the responsibilities of private actors arising from the human right to food.

"We have succeeded in focusing attention on small farmers and producers and in clearly defining the duties of governments on the one hand and the responsibilities of private investors on the other", said Federal Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt following the negotiations and stated: "Germany will undertake every effort at international level to ensure that these Principles are made known and implemented across the globe. I also believe that private investors bear considerable responsibility in this respect."

As of:

Further information

"Understanding global food security and nutrition"

Screenshot of the film „Understanding global food security and nutrition“

The world’s population is growing. But today, at a global level, agriculture is currently producing one third more calories than necessary to feed all the people in the world. That means: In principle, there is enough food for everybody. Nevertheless one person in nine goes to bed hungry. Worldwide there are still 800 million people going hungry.

show video: "Understanding global food security and nutrition" …

Understanding global food security and nutrition - Facts and backgrounds

Cover Brochure 'Understanding Global Food'

This brochure will provide you with information on the underlying contexts of nutrition and agriculture globally, and will inform you about the activities of the BMEL on food security and good nutrition.

Deutsche Version: Welternährung verstehen - Fakten und Hintergründe

As of: January 2015

Price fluctuations (volatility) of agricultural commodities

Chart: price fluctuations

In recent years, price fluctuations and price spikes on global commodity markets have increasingly come to the forefront of public attention. Extreme price volatility means insecurity and financial risks for all the commercial operators involved.

more: Price fluctuations (volatility) of agricultural commodities …




© Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture