Agribusiness and the right to food

[5 March 2010] GENEVA – The UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Prof. Olivier De Schutter, presents on March 5th in Geneva his report on ‘Agribusiness and the right to food’.

Issues related to global food chains and the role of private agribusiness actors in global food security have insufficiently been addressed since the 2008 global food crisis. The report examines the role of commodity buyers, food processors and retailers in the realization of the right to food. These actors play a key role, as they connect producers to consumers, and as they transform raw commodities into edible food. But the vast majority of those who are hungry in the world today are part of the food system; small independent food producers or waged agricultural workers working on farms in the formal or informal sector represent over half of the billion who go hungry today.

The report therefore asks how the sourcing, pricing, and wages policies of commodity buyers, food processors and retailers impact the right to food.
The report seeks to contribute to a better understanding, by agribusiness corporations and States alike, of their respective responsibilities and obligations under international law. It ends with recommendations to States and the agribusiness sector to ensure that the current transformation of the food chain will contribute to the realization of the right to food. The recommendations relate to a range of areas, including competition law, international framework agreements, cooperatives, and public procurement.

ReadPDF Report 'Agribusiness and the right to food' presented to the Human Rights Council, [A/HRC/13/33], March 2010
ReadPDF Summary of the report 'Agribusiness and the right to food'
ReadPDF Press release 'The imbalance of power between smallholders and agribusiness must be corrected'