Document Type

Report/Policy Paper

Publication Date



The food sector confronts significant sustainable development challenges. It both contributes to, and suffers from, environmental degradation, especially human-induced climate change and deforestation. Although it can provide farming communities with livelihoods and incomes, it also can fuel land grabs that undermine community rights and wellbeing. The sector feeds the growing global population, but also contributes to the epidemics of obesity and metabolic diseases, while chronic malnutrition has continued to worsen in the years since adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In light of these challenges and opportunities, a number of frameworks, guidance documents, and standards have aimed to create guidelines for more sustainable practices in the food industry. Yet, these tools lack industry consensus, and fall short of a holistic, comprehensive framework for responsible practices in the food sector that align with the SDGs.

In September 2021, the annual report Fixing the Business of Food: Aligning Food Company Practices with the SDGs was launched. The report contains an introduction to and overview of the Four Pillar Framework Standards. Detailed implementation guidance for food processing companies will follow in November 2021.

Under this project, the partners expect to engage with industry leaders, and to consult with representatives of key reporting standards, monitoring agencies, and academic disciplines to help build a consensus on best practices, reporting standards, and supply-chain monitoring to address the areas identified and highlighted in the report.


Agriculture Law | Environmental Law | Food and Drug Law | Human Rights Law | International Humanitarian Law | International Law | Law | Transnational Law