Food  /  September 24, 2019

Fixing the business of food

On behalf of WBA, Gebrand Haverkamp participated in the ‘Fixing the business of food’ event organized in cooperation with Permanent Mission of Italy UN – New York that was held on September 24, 2019 at Warwick Hotel in New York, on on the occasion of the Opening Session of the 74th General Assembly of the United Nations.

At this occasion, the report ‘Fixing the Business of Food was presented, that features the Food & Agriculture Benchmark of the World Benchmarking Alliance.

In its closing remarks, Jeffrey Sachs was explicit about his high expectations for this WBA initiative.

Based on an interview with Gerbrand Haverkamp, IPS wrote:

In terms of achieving the SDGs, while there’s an obvious role for governments to play, Gerbrand Haverkamp, executive director of World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA), says they stay focused on the private sector.

“That means we want to make sure that business is conducted – so the way that coffee is sourced, the way that we grow bananas…that is done in a way that it doesn’t undermine progress and also starts to contribute towards progress on the SDG,” Haverkamp told IPS in an exclusive interview.

“But to make sure companies do that, we need to make sure that we are able to articulate what that means [so] that we can measure how good they are doing, and then we make those results publicly available,” he said, adding that this allows both the consumers and investors a way to tell the company how they’re performing and what risks their under-performance can pose. 

Haverkamp added that while companies tend to be generally interested to engage in these practices, a bigger challenge remains the data collection.

“Companies do not adequately collect a lot of data or they fail to disclose it, so that’s a technical issue,” he added. “And to be able to hold someone accountable, you need to understand the issue.”