Food and Agriculture Benchmark

The Food and Agriculture Benchmark will be the first of its kind to benchmark leading companies across the entirety of the food system, from farm to fork. It will cover the multiple dimensions where transformation is needed: sustainable production, healthy diets and nutrition as well as social inclusion.

Why a Food and Agriculture Benchmark?

One of the most pressing global challenges of our time is feeding a growing population of 10 billion people by 2050 a healthy diet produced sustainably. According to the landmark EAT Lancet Commission report, published in January 2019, this is possible but will require no less than a Great Food Transformation. Action is needed quickly, by all relevant stakeholders, to prevent risking falling short in meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Practically all of the food consumed across the world is produced by farmers and supplied through agricultural value chains operated by the private sector. This puts both large, multinational enterprises and small and medium sized enterprises at the heart of transforming the global food system and meeting the targets for healthy diets and sustainable food production.

Based on the EAT-Lancet agenda and other target-setting initiatives for food system transformation, the Food and Agriculture Benchmark will evaluate companies in three main dimensions: environment, nutrition and social inclusion. These dimensions will be used to create a measurement framework that will inform the development of specific indicators to assess companies. It will build upon science-based targets, existing standards and accountability frameworks that are relevant for the three dimensions.

The benchmark will likely be conducted on an annual basis and aims to provide an evidence base to the dialogue around industry and company performance and drive action among stakeholders.

A framework for corporate action on food system transformation

For the private sector to play its part, we need consensus on how to get there and what is expected of businesses, in addition to better and more timely insights into actual performance. The framework is a first attempt to translate the food system transformation agenda into a recipe for change for the private sector. It sets out the critical areas where private sector action is needed and where companies must step up their efforts to collectively transform the system. 

350 Keystone companies

The Food and Agriculture Benchmark is one of the first global benchmarks that takes an entire value chain approach. The 350 keystone companies are selected as part of WBA’s SDG2000, the 2000 keystone companies that will be assessed within WBA benchmarks by 2023.

​The companies selected for WBA’s Food and Agriculture Benchmark were identified through the concept of keystone actors: these are companies across the food and agriculture value chain with a disproportionate impact on the structure and function of the system in which they operate. Most of these large companies work with thousands of business partners, through subsidiaries and their own production and distribution networks. The majority of companies are publicly listed, with the remaining a mix of private, state-owned and cooperative business models.

Find out who the 350 companies are

Five year development road map

For the development of the Food and Agriculture Benchmark, WBA follows a five-year roadmap. Throughout, it will align with relevant agendas of global platforms and initiatives so that the data, key findings and recommendations can be integrated into broader stakeholder actions and community outreach. A central moment in this five-year roadmap is the publication of the first Benchmark at the end of 2021. This Benchmark will identify clear frontrunners of the food system transformation agenda.


The Food and Agriculture Benchmark will be developed in close collaboration with an Expert Review Committee (ERC), which members support the core team with their expertise and experience.

Aarti Misal
Research Analyst

Carla Hommes
Lead Research Food and Agriculture Benchmark

Charlotte Reeves
Project Coordinator

Kaibin Tang
Research analyst

Luiza Margulis
Research analyst

Mishma Abraham

Mishma Abraham
Research Analyst

Nathan Cable
Research Analyst

Sanne Helderman
Senior Research Lead

Sara Posa
Research Analyst

Timothée Pasqualini
Research Analyst

Viktoria de Bourbon de Parme
Food Transformation Lead

The Food and Agriculture Benchmark is developed in close collaboration with an Expert Review Committee (ERC), which members support the core team with their expertise and experience. Members of the ERC are:

  • Chris Brett
    Lead Agribusiness, World Bank

  • Danielle Carreira           
    Environment Program Director, UBS Optimus Foundation

  • Fabrice DeClerck           
    Science Director, EAT Foundation, and Senior Scientist, Bioversity International

  • Shachi D. Gurumayum Sharma 
    Director, AgriMayum GmbH

  • Jessica Fanzo   
    Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Food Policy & Ethics, Johns Hopkins University

  • Aaron Hay         
    Lead Engager, Hermes Investment Management

  • Diane Holdorf  
    Managing Director Food & Nature, WBCSD

  • Yewande Kazeem           
    Journalist and Founder, Wandeville Media
  • Pascal Murasira
    Agri-business Consultant, Wageningen University, and Special Advisor Youth Employment & Inclusion, Pan African Farmers Organisation
  • Michael Ojo      
    Country Director Nigeria, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition

  • Henk Peters      
    Inclusive Value Chain Advisor, Oxfam

  • Guido Schmidt-Traub    
    Executive Director, UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network

  • Ann Tutwiler (Chair)      
    Senior Fellow at Meridian Institute, and Senior Advisor, SystemIQ. Former Director General, Bioversity International

  • Ren Wang         
    Director General, China National GeneBank. Former Assistant Director General, FAO

Get involved

Over the coming months WBA will continue engaging with stakeholders, through targeted engagement and communications with key organisations and representatives through a programme of events, meetings and calls.

We would very much welcome feedback from all interested parties on the proposed scope of the Food and Agriculture Benchmark.