Launched in 2011, the EBRD’s Private Sector for Food Security Initiative champions the role of the private sector in boosting food production and improving food quality and safety standards, and aims to set incentives and create the right environment for encouraging private sector investments.
Considering the diversity of the countries where it works, the EBRD has a unique insight and a specific role to play in increasing global food security
. The private sector can play a decisive role in helping bridge the growing divide between demand and supply, and our Food Security Initiative supports these through three main priorities.
Upgrading food quality standards and animal welfare practices
Food product standards are increasingly important for the development of domestic and export markets in the countries in which the EBRD invests. The Initiative intensified its focus on improving food safety and quality while maintaining its long-term emphasis on food security.
Producing high-quality food is important to satisfy more sophisticated consumer expectations. It can boost the competitiveness of agribusinesses locally and help companies transition to high-end markets such as the European Union.
The EBRD and FAO have teamed up to help food producers in Serbia achieve Geographical Indication status, starting with sour cherries.
Good production standards respect animal welfare. By updating its Environmental and Social Policy
in 2014, the EBRD ensured that the agribusiness
projects it finances meet or exceed EU animal welfare laws. This is the first time that an international financial institution (IFI) has adopted binding animal welfare criteria for investments.
Improving the investment climate through policy dialogue and reform
Dialogue between the public and private sectors is crucial to improve the investment climate and bring about needed reforms in the countries in which the EBRD invests.
At the macro level, these platforms are key forums to improve synergies for overall sector growth. Public-private cooperation supports transition in the agribusiness sector, by increasing the private sector’s voice in decisions that affect legislation and ensuring that public sector policies set the right incentives for the private sector to flourish, bringing about the required investments.
Fostering sustainable value chains
Value chains are dynamic, market-driven systems that rely on collaboration and relationships that link companies to the value-creation process. Consumers, regulators and civil society increasingly request that sustainability, energy efficiency and economic inclusion are considered at all stages of the agri-food value chain. As a result, these considerations are becoming a major competitive driver for companies in the countries where the EBRD invests. The Bank will further focus its private sector investments
and technical assistance on increasing the sustainability of the agribusiness value chain.