The global challenges in the agricultural and food sector, which also affect Switzerland, are diverse and complex. Transitioning to sustainable food systems therefore requires coordinated international action through international institutions, partnerships and instruments. Switzerland is actively involved in the establishment, further development and strengthening of various institutions, partnerships and instruments in the areas of agriculture and nutrition.
The Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG) works in various institutions and partnerships within the framework of the United Nations Organization (UNO) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The transition towards sustainable food systems requires the involvement of all relevant stakeholders, which is why multi-stakeholder partnerships consisting of states and actors from research, civil society and the private sector, in addition to international institutions, are key. In addition, there are a number of thematic international instruments (treaties, action plans and conventions) that are relevant to agriculture and food. These institutions and instruments are constantly evolving to respond to the challenges ahead.
In Switzerland, the FOAG is the lead agency for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Committee on Agriculture (COAG) of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), alternating with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) for the Committee on World Food Security (CFS). Furthermore, the FOAG is directly responsible for the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) and for the International Plant Protection Convention.
Other institutions and instruments that are important for the agricultural and food sector are affiliated with other federal agencies.