According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), 815 million people in the world go to bed hungry while 1.9 billion people are overweight1). Yet achieving a world with zero hunger by 2030 is not only possible, it is the theme of this year’s FAO World Food Day, celebrated annually on 16 October.

ISO has more than 1 600 International Standards for the food production sector that directly help to end world hunger by creating confidence in food products, improving agricultural methods and promoting sustainable and ethical purchasing. These include nearly 850 standards from one of ISO’s most established technical committees, ISO/TC 34, Food products, that encompass everything from animal welfare to food products, such as cereals and milk, and ingredients testing. It is also responsible for the ISO 22000 series on food safety management that covers standards related to food manufacturing, farming, packaging, catering and animal foodstuffs and feed production.

The key to sustainable food systems is ensuring the livelihoods of everyone in the food supply chain and ISO is currently working on a number of standards that do just that. A case in point, the upcoming ISO 34101 series on sustainable and traceable cocoa beans is intended to facilitate effective agricultural practices that also protect the environment and improve the social conditions of the 14 million smallholder cocoa farmers in developing countries.

Also in the pipeline is technical specification ISO/TS 26030, a food-sector application of ISO 26000, one of the world’s most referenced International Standards for social responsibility. It will give guidance on how to integrate the core issues of social responsibility into the food chain, thereby contributing to many of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by providing recommendations to businesses on how they can operate in an ethical, transparent and sustainable way.

To learn more about how ISO International Standards can help feed the world, see the dedicated page on our Website.


1) FAO World Food Day Communication Toolkit