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Standards mapping for Grow Asia

We supported Grow Asia in mapping a range of industry and investment standards to the ASEAN Guidelines for promoting responsible investment in food, agriculture, and forestry (ASEAN RAI)

Grow Asia, established by the World Economic Forum, in collaboration with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretariat, brings together governments, private sector, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other key stakeholders in the region to convene, facilitate, and scale efforts that promote more inclusive, resilient, and sustainable food systems in Southeast Asia.

In its motivation to enable the adoption of sustainable practices in the ASEAN region, Grow Asia reached out to Steward Redqueen to map how existing food, agriculture, and forestry (FAF) and financial standards relate to the 10 principles of the ASEAN RAI. The ASEAN RAI contribute regionally specific guidance on food, agriculture and forestry investments to an existing landscape of voluntary sustainability standards and certifications. But the growing number and types of guidance in this landscape can be confusing for agribusiness and financial investors.

Consequently, we developed a report in which we reviewed ten FAF industry certifications and standards, four international investment standards and the uptake of responsible practices of 10 international banks. The report findings show that there is significant overlap between agribusinesses who are signatories or certified by the 14 standards reviewed and those who are aligned with the ASEAN RAI.

This alignment makes it easier for private sector investors to demonstrate their compliance to the ASEAN RAI, which are adopted formally by the ASEAN Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry. It further demonstrates how certifications or alignment to standards may help agribusinesses become more competitive and attractive to financiers, ultimately leading to more responsible investments in ASEAN.

You can view the full final report here.