PROFESSIONAL FARMER ORGANIZATION - GUIDELINES
AMEA initiated a process of an International Workshop Agreement (IWA), spearheading the development of guidelines for professional farmer organizations. Our commitment to the IWA 29 comes from AMEA’s core belief in the importance of having a common language for all stakeholders in agricultural value chains and developing a shared understanding of required capacities of professional farmer organizations. The IWA 29 will direct interactions between farmer organizations and other agribusiness stakeholders. The guidelines are intended to:
Provide guidance to improve the professionalism of farmer organizations, leading to improved performance and access to finance and markets
Support members and staff of professional farmer organizations to supervise and hold their organization and leadership accountable
Increase the understanding and confidence of buyers, suppliers, investors and others doing business with professional farmer organizations
Give direction to the actions of providers of training, assessment, advisory and other organizational and business development services
Align the vision and interventions of stakeholders in their effort to professionalize farmer organizations
Encourage active engagement with broader stakeholders
An IWA is a fast-track way to create a commonly understood and credible agreement in an open workshop environment. An IWA only takes one year to produce, is valid for six years and can be converted to an ISO standard in the future. The International Standardization Organization (ISO) has 162 members, known as national standards bodies and has produced over 22000 International Standards in almost every industry that give world-class specifications for quality and efficiency.
The Dutch ISO member NEN represents ISO for the development of IWA 29: 2019 "Professional farmer organization - Guidelines".
Who participated as a stakeholder in the process?
Any organization or company or individual was allowed to comment and attend, as long as they registered as a stakeholder.
Various stakeholders from 51 different countries registered for IWA 29: 2019. Among them, there were representatives of:
14 Academic and research bodies
34 Agri-supply chain market actors
1 Commodity certification schemes
12 Farmer organizations
5 Financial institutions
14 Governmental agencies
6 Industry and commerce
24 International organizations and donors
57 Non-governmental organizations
8 Standards application
27 Training providers and capacity builders
The registered stakeholders participated in the process in two ways:
They participated in the IWA on creating guidelines for professional farmer organizations by giving their feedback to the proposal online.
The IWA process included a two-day in-person consultation workshop in the Netherlands on 7-8 November 2018. The main objective of this workshop was to discuss the gudelines and core capacities of professional farmer organizations in depth and to reach a consensus on the global guidelines.