CSR Asia Brings The Responsible Agribusiness Roundtable Series To Phnom Penh

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia, March 6th, 2018 – Together with Khmer Organic Cooperative Co., Ltd and Oxfam in Cambodia, CSR Asia organized the second session of the Responsible Agribusiness Roundtable series in Phnom Penh today.

The event was attended by business and sustainability professionals from over 15 companies and organizations, who discussed opportunities for local agribusiness to engage with smallholder farmers and adopt inclusive and gender smart business models.

The roundtable series was developed by CSR Asia for GRAISEA (Gender Transformative and Responsible Agribusiness Investments in South East Asia), a regional development program funded by the Government of Sweden and implemented by Oxfam. It aims to promote solutions that help improve the livelihoods of small-scale producers through more responsible and inclusive value chains and private sector investments, and to empower women to demonstrate economic leadership.

Richard Welford, CSR Asia Chairman added, “This Roundtable series is bringing together companies that realise the benefits of responsible and gender inclusive business practices. We believe multi-stakeholder engagement and collaboration is critical to rethink our approach with farmers, particularly smallholder farmers and support gender transformation. This event is a great opportunity to discuss best practices and practical solutions, marking an important milestone in our collaboration with OXFAM and the Government of Sweden.”

“We are confident that local and foreign agribusiness companies and investors in Cambodia can play a role and contribute towards alleviating poverty of smallholders men and women farmers in Cambodia,” she said, adding “This can be done with frontrunning companies embracing and adopting responsible, inclusive and gender-transformative business practices.”

Mr. Ieng Sotheara of the Khmer Organic Cooperative Co., Ltd also provided a presentation highlighting practical experiences in relation to Responsible Agribusiness.

In addition, CSR Asia’s Richard Welford gave an overview of the agribusiness challenges faced in ASEAN and highlighted opportunities for ensuring sustainable agribusiness growth via the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. While presenting findings from CSR Asia’s research, Mrs Rebecca Walker Chan, CSR Asia Project Manager, emphasized that the agribusiness sector is well-positioned to make an industry-wide contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), while prioritizing and addressing sectoral challenges. This will only become possible by creating collaborative, long-term multi-stakeholder partnerships between government, the private sector and agricultural communities.

During the session, CSR Asia presented two publications, which address the integral role of the agribusiness sector in achieving long-term regional sustainability in ASEAN.

Publication 1: Making the Case for Smallholder Inclusion: An Analysis of Ten Agricultural Private Sector Actors who have adopted Responsible and Inclusive Approaches to Smallholder Producers

  • Selection of 10 companies in ASEAN which have realized returns on investments into enhanced community and smallholder engagement.
  • This report can be used as a reference tool to show how the private sector is able to establish their own programs and to outline the range of approaches that contribute to market expansion and supply security. All stakeholders involved in the agribusiness sector can use this analysis as a resource and advocacy driver in promoting better agricultural practices and collective impacts.

Publication 2: Agribusiness and the SDGs: How the Agribusiness Sector in ASEAN can embrace the Sustainable Development Goals

  • For each SDG, the report explores the challenges and opportunities for the agribusiness sector and identifies innovative organizations that are leading by example by incorporating aspects of the SDG into their operations.
  • Companies can use this report as a tool to assess which SDGs are most relevant to their businesses and the impact they have, especially on issues such as smallholder inclusion and gender inequality, while also scoping opportunities to incorporate the SDGs into their own strategies.

With the above presentations serving as inspiration for discussion, roundtable participants engaged in breakout group sessions to share their current business models, identify opportunities for partnerships, map out next steps, set objectives and targets, and develop mechanisms to track progress.

Notes to editors: 

Khmer Organic Cooperative Co., Ltd

Khmer Organic Cooperative Co., Ltd strives to find markets for our farmers’ products in order to provide them with earning and providing sustainable practices in the country. Together with their sister company, Entrée Baitang, Khmer Organic Cooperative equips farmers with knowledge and essential skills to grow organic products on their own and work towards establishing a sustainable environment free of chemicals and genetically modified seeds with affordable price for customers.

Oxfam in Cambodia

In 2015, Oxfam initiated CSR platform Cambodia. There are 50 members till now, about 60% are from private company. The CSR platform Cambodia is a platform where people from private company and CSO discuss, share and learn about the CSR. The platform also connected with CSR Asia and ASEAN CSR Network who have the expertise and supports to promote CSR. For more information about this platform, please visit: http://csrcambodia.org/.

Oxfam is a confederation of 20 affiliates operating globally. In Cambodia, Oxfam supports a wide range of development programs including sustainable livelihoods, humanitarian relief and disaster preparedness, governance, civic engagement, agriculture and climate change adaptation, and saving-led microfinance. Oxfam has supported Cambodia’s development since 1979, making it the first INGO operating inside Cambodia during the controversial post Khmer Rouge Genocide period. Working alongside Cambodia and the Royal Government of Cambodia for almost 4 decades Oxfam has introduced programs and interventions to suit the transforming nature, and economic and social development of Cambodia.

CSR Asia

CSR Asia, an ELEVATE company, is a mission-driven business creating value for clients and partners in Asia by supporting responsible, inclusive and sustainable business. Our services include sustainability strategy and reporting, and development and community investment. We deliver value through our advisory, networks, events and intelligence. CSR Asia has 6 offices globally and staff members have multidisciplinary expertise across sectors and in local markets. Committed to creating positive change, CSR Asia provides access to a knowledge bank of accessible reports and articles as well as events, forums and training. For more information, visit www.csr-asia.com.