Global registry of small farmers for food security established
A group of standards-setters in food and agriculture are collaborating to develop an open global registry to recognise the contribution of millions of farmers and small agricultural businesses to the world’s food systems. Working neutrally under the umbrella of the United Nations Global Compact’s Food and Agriculture (FAB) Principles and the Declaration of Abu Dhabi, the collaborators include the UN International Trade Centre, GLOBALG.A.P, SAI Platform, Rainforest Alliance, GS1 and Control Union. All are leading global organizations dedicated to advocating, designing and implementing global principles, standards and solutions to advance safe and sustainable practices for food security.
“We are developing a global infrastructure to recognize the huge numbers of farmers and SMEs that are the engine for national and international food systems. We need a neutral platform for national legal standards to be compared side-by-side with international voluntary standards. And we need a way to help farmers and SMEs become more capable without having to endure multiple and expensive certification audits” said Puvan Selvanathan, special advisor on food and agriculture at the UN Global Compact.
The partners will provide millions of ‘blue numbers’ free of charge to any farmer or business, in any part of a food value chain, that creates a public profile with basic information such as who they are, what they grow and their GPS coordinates. They can also selectively share additional information such as compliance with national regulations, whether they have any certifications for local or international good agricultural practice, or even their network of business partners.
The group supporting the ‘blue number’ system hope a common understanding of safe and sustainable agricultural practices will gradually develop while recognising the world’s diversity of economic contexts, cultures and commodities. This will allow governments, companies and NGOs to focus on designing and delivering affordable training and education for family farmers and SMEs to access.
The public data is designed for free and non-commercial use by governments, companies and communities to build and deliver more impactful programmes for rural development, increase transparency and reporting in value and supply chains, encourage the uptake of national and voluntary standards, and to empower small farmers and SMEs.
Altogether the United Nations Global Compact, the UN International Trade Centre, GLOBALG.A.P, SAI Platform, Rainforest Alliance, GS1 and Control Union currently engage with over 2 million farmers and agricultural businesses across 120 countries.