On 27 April 2016, UNIDROIT, hosted an international conference entitled “Creating a favourable legal environment for contract farming”. The Conference was organised in collaboration with FAO and IFAD, under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy. It aimed to provide information on contract farming and explain the approach and practical usefulness of the Legal Guide on Contract Farming, and information on current plans regarding the implementation of the Guide in various countries to potential stakeholders.

Diplomatic representations in Italy, international organisations, non-governmental organisations, bilateral cooperation agencies, and private companies involved in contract farming, attended the Conference, and actively participated in very dynamic and productive discussions.

It is particularly worth of notice that at the Conference, the representative of a major actor in the chocolate and cocoa production, Barry Callebaut, stressed that the “Legal Guide on Contract Farming had informed a lot of the contracts that his company had made with farmers. It provide[s] good advice on how to structure pre-financing, financing and repayments, what milestones to include and how to enforce them.”

In addition, the representative of the Philippines indicated that the “Philippine government utilizes the Legal Guide in framing the issues and setting the benchmarks on contract growing arrangements entered into by smallholder farmers, including those that are family farmers”, and that together with other policy instruments, “the Legal Guide has informed the regulations being crafted on agribusiness investments with smallholder farmers who are property rights owners of lands emanating from the agrarian reform program”.

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Ms Stefania Rosini (First Counsellor, Service for Legal Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation) delivering her opening speech From the left: Mr Jesper Karlsson (FAO), Ms Stefania Rosini (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation), Mr Josè Estrella Faria (UNIDROIT), Mr Idés de Willebois (FAO),  Ms Marlo Rankin (FAO) From the left: Mr Michael Schlup (Barry Callebaut), Mr. Charles Ogang (WFO), Mr Andrew Shepherd (Agribusiness Consultant), Ms. G. Pietriccioni (CREA), Mr Giel Ton, (LEI, Wageningen University and Research Centre Nijmegen) From the left: Ms Frederique Mestre (UNIDROIT), Ms Marlo Rankin (FAO), Ms Marieclaire Colaiacomo (IFAD), Prof. Fabrizio Cafaggi (University of Trento), Ms Eva Galvez Nogales (FAO) Shot of the seated audience
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