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
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.
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:
Lead Agribusiness, World Bank
Environment Program Director, UBS Optimus Foundation
Science Director, EAT Foundation, and Senior Scientist, Bioversity International
Shachi D. Gurumayum Sharma
Director, AgriMayum GmbH
Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Food Policy & Ethics, Johns Hopkins University
Lead Engager, Hermes Investment Management
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
Country Director Nigeria, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition
Inclusive Value Chain Advisor, Oxfam
Executive Director, UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network
Ann Tutwiler (Chair)
Senior Fellow at Meridian Institute, and Senior Advisor, SystemIQ. Former Director General, Bioversity International
Director General, China National GeneBank. Former Assistant Director General, FAO
Publications and other media
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.