• Introduction

    As the incentives for foreign investments in the agricultural sector in developing countries grow, investors are faced with the challenge of getting the investments “right” – both from the investor’s own perspective, and from the perspective of respecting basic human rights, hereunder the right to adequate food.


    However, the list of international standards and private initiatives, which investors are expected to follow and choose to sign up to, is long – and not always aligned. Moreover, the views on what constitutes a “responsible investment” vary a great deal, whether you ask a smallholder farmer in Africa or a private investor in the Danish agribusiness.

    • Speakers

      Mr. Olivier de SchutterMr. Olivier de Schutter As UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food (2008-2014), Olivier de Schutter has been at the forefront of setting a global agenda on the right to food, including through studies to the UN Human Rights Council on “agribusiness and the right to food”, and a “human rights impact assessment of trade and investment agreements”. Today, he co-chairs the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food), which aims at assessing the state of food systems in support of efforts by public authorities and the private sector to accelerate the transition towards sustainability in this area.

      Mr. Sune Skadegaard ThorsenMr. Sune Skadegård Thorsen is the founder and CEO of GLOBAL CSR; a consultancy specialised in creating sustainable solutions for private companies, public authorities and organisations. With a background in corporate law, Sune has been one of the leading forces behind operationalising and pragmatising social sustainability, using a principles-based approach to CSR based on human rights. Sune is internationally acknowledged for his contribution to CSR/Human Rights & Business and adviser to a range of the world’s leading corporations on the application of the UN Global Compact principles; now taking its point of departure in the UN Guiding Principles from 2011.

      Mr. Morten ElkjærMr. Morten Elkjær is Head of the Green Growth Department (GRV) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark. GRV works to promote green growth and sustainable solutions in developing countries, and manages Danida’s business programme among other things. Morten Elkjær has worked with development related issues in Africa, Asia and Latin America in the areas of private sector partnerships, agriculture and education since 1986. He served as Denmark’s Ambassador to Bolivia from 2009-2013. In 2014, the Danish government launched two action plans relevant to this debate, including on the Implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and “A Shared Agenda” on Policy Coherence for Development with a focus on EU trade policies and food security.

      Mr. Allan PolackMr. Allan Polack has experience from the Investment Banking, Insurance and Asset Management industry since 1985. He was appointed as CEO for Nordea Asset Management in 2007. The Asset Management arm of Nordea operates in the Nordic countries, Europe and has sales offices in New York and Sao Paulo employing 570 professionals. With 228 bEUR in assets Nordea Wealth Management is the largest wealth manager in the Nordic area. Allan Polack started as an equity analyst, then became Head of portfolio management and from 2002 till 2007 held the position as CEO of Nordea Life & Pensions. Allan Polack holds a M.Sc. in Economics and Business Administration and concluded his Advanced Management Program from INSEAD in 1995. Allan Polack is furthermore a member of EFAMA Board of Directors, board member of European Institute and chairman of a taskforce under CEPS/ European Capital Markets Institute.

      • Socially responsible investments in the agribusiness sector

        As a starting point for the debate, Mr. Sune Skadegård Thorsen, CEO of GLOBAL CSR, presents an outline of a draft discussion paper prepared on behalf of DCA on the issue of “socially responsible investments in the agribusiness sector”. 

        • Responsible investments and the right to food

          Mr. Olivier de Schutter, Professor and former UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food (2008-2014), shares his view on agricultural investments and the right to food.

        • The roles and responsibilities of governments

          Mr. Morten Elkjær, Head of the Green Growth Department (GRV) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, talks about the roles and responsibilities of governments, as well as the Investment Fund for Developing Countries and investments in agricultural value chains.


          • Responsible investments in the financial sector

            Mr. Allan Polack, CEO of Nordea Asset Management, explains how Nordea integrates UN principles for responsible investments in its processes.

            • Panel debate

              A panel consisting of key experts and practitioners sharing their views on the synergies and inconsistencies in the area of investment policies and practices from a right to food perspective, and how this translates into a Danish context.

              The experts are asked to discuss the following:

              • How is the “responsible investment” agenda compatible with a right to food approach?
              • How can governments, private investors, and civil society ensure policy coherence, with a view to realising and/or preventing violations on the right to adequate food, in alignment with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the Voluntary Guidelines on land tenure rights, and the Right to Adequate Food Guidelines? 
              • How do other frameworks like the Principles for Responsible Investment and the Food and Agriculture Business Principles compare to these?
              • What practical steps should investors take to contribute to promoting food security in respect of local development needs and the rights of those affected by the investments – and is this even possible?