Supporting stakeholders

Stakeholders throughout the food system play a key role in transforming food systems towards greater sustainability. It is vital that access to knowledge and resources is fostered and participation encouraged so that food systems become more economically, ecologically and socially resilient.

Switzerland is committed to strengthening stakeholders in the international context, with a focus on youth, the role of responsible investment and corporate governance, and mountain agriculture.

Youth embody the future of agriculture and therefore play a key role in the transformation towards sustainable food systems. However, there is a generation gap in agriculture as the global average age of people employed in the sector is 58. The Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG) is involved at international level by supporting the implementation of the Principles for Responsible Investments in Agriculture and Food Systems (CFS-RAI) of the Committee for Food Security (CFS), with the aim of empowering young people to participate in agriculture.

Innovation award for sustainable agriculture and food systems

Innovation plays an important role in the future of agricultural and food systems. In view of this, Switzerland and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) launched the International Innovation Award for sustainable agriculture and food systems in 2018. The award recognises innovations that empower young people to successfully engage and establish themselves in the agriculture and food system.

Responsible investment and corporate governance 

In order to achieve the first two Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of ending hunger and poverty by 2030, investment in agriculture, especially in rural areas, needs to be significantly scaled up and the exercising of due diligence by agricultural value chains bolstered. Investments do not always contribute to improving the living conditions of disadvantaged population groups, strengthening agricultural systems or protecting natural resources. Companies across the agricultural value chain that carry out due diligence make it possible to prevent, mitigate and manage any negative impact of their activities and foster inclusive growth, thus contributing to sustainable development.

The Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG) is involved at international level by supporting the implementation of the Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems (CFS-RAI) and the OECD–FAO Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains. In collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the national Swiss FAO Committee (CNS-FAO), the FOAG developed a strategic planning tool to stimulate and sustain investments by young agri-entrepreneurs in eleven African countries and published policy recommendations based on the findings from these countries.   

Mountain agriculture

Promoting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the sustainable development of particularly vulnerable mountain regions to improve the living conditions of the population and environmental protection. Mountain agriculture is made up of smallholder farms and family farms. Production systems are adapted to local conditions and traditionally based on sustainable approaches with a small footprint, such as agroecology.

Switzerland is a member of the Mountain Partnership, a United Nations voluntary association of 390 members. The Mountain Partnership conducts international awareness-raising campaigns, promotes joint projects and facilitates knowledge-sharing and capacity building.

The UN has declared 2022 as the International Year for Sustainable Mountain Development.

Further information

Last modification 19.12.2022

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Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG)
International Affairs and Food Systems

Schwarzenburgstrasse 165
3003 Bern
+41 58 48 36613

Madeleine Kaufmann

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