Beyond 2025: COLEAD’s long-standing partners support the organisation in its mission to contribute to SDGs

In line with the EU “Global Gateway” and “Farm to Fork” strategies

In a world characterised by growing political and economic challenges, exacerbated by climate crises and international conflicts, COLEAD’s 2023 Consultative Committee provided an important platform to address pressing issues related to the agendas of different stakeholders and the development of agriculture, a sector that is crucial to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The importance of the agri-food sector

The agri-food sector plays a central role in developing countries. It drives economic growth, reduces poverty, strengthens food security, and provides employment, especially for women and young people. Recognising its importance, COLEAD and its partners are committed to continuing to support the sector to improve the social, economic, and environmental sustainability of EU partner countries. 

COLEAD strengthened in its mission and encouraged to evolve.

The Committee’s discussions highlighted common concerns and possible solutions to current challenges. Participants stressed the need to overcome obstacles and seize market opportunities, particularly at local and regional level. COLEAD was encouraged to continue its mission with a multi-faceted approach, including training, technical assistance, advocacy, facilitating communication with relevant authorities, accessing appropriate funding, and contributing to the creation of opportunities for young people. Partners also stressed the importance of communicating successes, strengthening links with other development programmes, making small entrepreneurs’ projects more bankable, and integrating priority issues such as climate, biodiversity, and gender.

The discussions revealed a consensus on the need for COLEAD to evolve both geographically and technically, adapting to the changing needs of its partners. Prioritisation of actions, taking into account the policy environment and value chains with high socio-economic and environmental impacts, was considered essential.

A vision for the future

The discussions of the 2023 Consultative Committee resulted in a clear vision for the future: a dynamic and responsive COLEAD, able to adapt to changing challenges and play a crucial role in transforming food systems towards greater sustainability. By networking and inspiring through success stories, COLEAD is encouraged to intensify its role in implementing reliable links and connections between public and private actors committed to improving the sustainability of global agricultural supply chains, especially in regions where populations are most vulnerable. This vision is fully in line with the European Union’s Global Gateway and its Farm to Fork strategy, which aims to make food systems fair, healthy, and environmentally sound.