Register as a stakeholder in the IWA process.

Have your voice heard!

We are happy to announce that the registration as a stakeholder to define professional farmer organizations in an International Workshop Agreement (IWA) process has just opened!


As a key stakeholder in the field of capacity development, we believe that you can provide valuable input on how to define professional farmer organizations. Hereby, we would like to invite you to take part in the process, share your knowledge and experience, and learn from others while creating this definition. Participate by commenting online on the draft definition proposal and/or attending the IWA workshop meeting on 7-8 November 2018 in Delft (Netherlands).


Please note that commenting and participation is only possible upon registration here. The deadline for registration is 6 July 2018.


The importance of developing the global definition for professional farmer organizations


AMEA initiated the development of the global definition for professional farmer organizations through this IWA process, led by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Defining what it means to be a professional farmer organization will provide market actors, capacity builders, donors, commodity certification schemes, regulators and other stakeholders with a common language and understanding around required capacities of farmer organizations and needs for improvement.


This common language will clarify which professional development gaps must be addressed to accelerate the commercial orientation of farmer organizations, improve their access to markets and finance and in the long term enhance the resilience of supply chains and improve livelihoods. This will lead to streamlined and focused efforts within the capacity development sector and an informed and sustainable development of farmer organizations.


Explained by Alan Johnson, Chair of the AMEA Board and Senior Operations Officer at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), “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”.


The participation of a diverse group of stakeholders is crucial for the success of this process. Joanne Sonenshine emphasizes that “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.”


We are very much looking forward to receiving your registration and comments and embark on this journey of defining professional farmer organizations together!

An IWA is an ISO document developed through a workshop meeting. Market players and other stakeholders directly participate in developing the agreement. During this one-year-long process, organizations from over 160 ISO-member countries are invited to comment on and inform the proposed global definition. The process is led by Joanne Sonenshine, Independent Chair of the process and facilitated by NEN, the Dutch Standardization Institute on behalf of ISO.

Useful links:


Registration form

Global definition for professional farmer organizations 

About the IWA on defining professional farmer organizations 

NEN press release