Participate in IWA for professional farmer organizations

24-04-2018 Feeding the world in the future requires that farmers thrive. A consensus based definition of a professional farmer organization will provide market actors, capacity builders, investors, donors, commodity certification schemes and regulators with a common language and understanding around characteristics of farmer organizations and needs for improvement. Stakeholders are invited to participate in the development of this definition.

ISO recently approved the proposal for an IWA (International Workshop Agreement) for professional farmer organizations. AMEA (Agribusiness Market Ecosystem Alliance) approached the Dutch standardization institute NEN to facilitate the development of this IWA.

Common language

Alan Johnson chair of the AMEA board and senior operations officer at IFC explains the importance of this IWA: 'Reaching an IWA on what constitutes a professional farmer organization will be a huge step forward for all stakeholders working in agribusiness in emerging markets. The IWA helps create a common language for all of us supporting the transition of smallholder farming from semi-subsistence to farming as a business'.

All parties concerned

NEN is facilitating the development of the IWA. The recognized development process will assure that the IWA includes perspectives from all parties concerned and is based on consensus. Independent chair of the IWA-committee, Joanne Sonenshine, highlights the importance of the multi-stakeholder process: 'Coming together as diverse stakeholders to support the future of farming by ensuring fair and equitable access to finance, markets and investment is critical now more than ever. Developing a mutually agreed-upon and internationally recognized definition for professionalization in the agricultural sector, as is the case in many other working environments, will allow for more efficient, collaborative and impactful engagement among the populations that need investment most.'


Stakeholders are invited to participate in the development of this definition for a professional farmer organization. Registered participants can submit comments to the draft definition. These comments will be discussed during a meeting in Delft (Netherlands) on November 7 and 8 2018. It is also possible to submit only written comments without participation in the meeting in Delft. The submitter will receive written decision from the meeting in Delft.

Registration before July 6

Stakeholders can express their interest to participate through the registration form as soon as possible but before July 6 2018.

Two online meetings will be organised to introduce ISO standards development and the IWA on the definition for professional farmer organisations. Here too registration is required.

More information

For more information please contact Thamar Zijlstra, consultant standards development, e-mail, telephone +31 640 165 080.

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