Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems

The Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems (RAI), adopted in October 2014, promotes responsible conduct among a variety of stakeholders across all types of agricultural investments—public and private, large and small. The RAI recognizes the need to respect legitimate tenure rights (Principle 5) as an essential component for greater and more sustainable investment in agriculture and food systems.

As the set of ten principles that make up the RAI were developed through a multi-stakeholder process, they have wide buy-in. The principles are intended to provide practical guidance to governments, private and public investors, intergovernmental and regional organizations, civil society organizations, research organizations and universities, donors and foundations. These principles are organized into three broad categories: human rights and social protections, sustainable natural resource management and good governance. They state that responsible investments in agriculture should contribute to food security and nutrition while also helping to eradicate poverty, promote sustainable economic development and support women’s empowerment, youth empowerment and gender equality. And to ensure better governance, the principles call for more accountable and transparent governance systems and processes that provide grievance mechanisms and address harmful impacts of investments. The RAI are voluntary and non-binding and should be applied in ways that align with existing obligations under national and international law.

All Committee on World Food Security (CFS) stakeholders are asked to collaborate, network and identify joint activities to promote the use of the RAI Principles at the local, national and regional levels.

The RAI are available on the CFS website.