The partnership has been built through the consultation of a broad range of sector stakeholders, including governments, research and academia, the private sector, civil society and NGOs and inter-governmental organizations, since 2010.

Together, these participants defined the nature and purpose, focus and priority areas, type of activities and operating modalities of the Agenda. They also agreed on the nature of engagement.

With the constitution of the Guiding group in May 2013, the Agenda is in full operating mode.

Short chronology

June 2010: The FAO Committee on Agriculture recommends that FAO actively engages in consultations on how to accommodate livestock sector growth in a socio-economic and environmentally sustainable manner.

Subsequently, a number of countries and international organizations, called the Dialogue group, initiated the process. They recommended the development of an Agenda of Action, to shape the sector’s role in future global food production systems.

October 2010: The Dialogue group holds its second meeting in the Netherlands. It is decided that the Agenda should be built on broad based and voluntary stakeholder commitment, and act towards improved sector performance by targeting natural resource protection, while including poverty reduction and public health protection. The preparatory phase is entrusted to FAO.

May 2011: At a first multi-stakeholder platform meeting (Brasilia, Brazil), nearly 70 representatives from all stakeholder groupings from across the globe agreed on the Brasilia Consensus which sets the initial focus, the nature, and the functions of the Agenda. The Agenda partnership initially focuses on catalyzing and guiding the sustainable development of the livestock sector through the continuous improvement of its natural resource use.

December 2011: At the second multi-stakeholder platform meeting (Phuket, Thailand) stakeholders agreed on the priority areas (Closing the efficiency gap, Restoring value to grasslands, and Waste to worth) and agreed on the Phuket roadmap which sets the next steps in consolidating the Agenda.

2012: Several meetings of the Interim Preparatory Committee and a specific workshop take place to turn the Agenda into concrete action. Workshops for each Focus Areas help refine the scope of work.

January 2013: At third multi-stakeholder meeting (Nairobi, Kenya), participants further refined the Focus Area work programmes and agreed on an initial set up.

May 2013: The Focus Area Groups and the Guiding Group are officially constituted.

October 2013: At the fourth multi-stakeholder meeting (Ottawa, Canada), participants agreed that the Partnership needs a more comprehensive perspective, simultaneously addressing Equity and Growth, Global Food Security and Health, and Resources and Climate. The continuous improvement of the sector’s natural resource use remains nonetheless central to the Agenda. Initiatives such as The Livestock Environment Assessment and Performance (LEAP) partnership or the livestock component of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) are considered part of the Agenda, while maintaining their independence.

January 2014: As an integral part of Agenda’s support to the facilitation of novel forms of dialogue and partnership to address sustainability in food and agriculture, the Agenda Support Team was asked to organize an Expert Panel during the Global Forum on Food and Agriculture (GFFA) organized by the German Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection. The Panel explored available options for sustainable livestock sector development through a context setting keynote presentation, after which an international panel of experts shared and discussed their views on livestock sector futures, to identify practice change and continuous sector improvement options that could facilitate the livestock sector's contribution to sustainable food and agriculture

Start-up meeting of the Livestock and Manure Management component of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) which will be implemented under the umbrella of the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock.

March – May 2014: Closing the Efficiency Gap Focus area group meeting hosted by the International Meat Secretariat in Paris, France. Restoring value to grassland: lessons for practice change. Workshop hosted by CIRAD, Montpellier, France. Dairy Asia: Towards Sustainability. Co-organized and hosted by the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock in Bangkok, Thailand. Various meetings of the Agenda Guiding Group.

June 2014: Ensuring current and future livestock sector investments are better targeted towards the sustainable development of the livestock sector and reconcile the requirements of different stakeholders and potential trade-offs simultaneously, requires the exploration of new approaches that capitalize on the strength of different actors by building consensus and commitment among all concerned to action and on-the-ground improvements. The Investing in Sustainable Livestock roundtable held in Fribourg, Switzerland brought together livestock sector thought-leaders, decision-makers, and investors to discuss the multiple social, environmental, and health aspects of livestock sector development, and to ensure that they are addressed effectively in current and future sector investments.

October 2014: The 5th MSP (Cali, Colombia) participants, on the basis of a draft ‘all-in-one’ narrative participants comprehensively addressed an elaboration of the three thematic facets of sustainability: (i) Food security and health; (ii) Equity and growth; and (iii) Resources and climate. Common ground and key expectations of all stakeholders were discussed and explored, focusing on where the Agenda’s activities can best deliver value-added as it pursues a sustainable livestock sector. The Agenda Guiding Group is in the process of examining all the suggestions made, to assess the value, the feasibility and the modalities of implementing or facilitating follow-up actions.

The 5th MSP also examined aspects of the Agenda set-up, principally strengthening the Cluster Group approach, including their ability to ensure adequate representation on the Guiding Group and other working bodies. Steps that were identified for ensuring this strengthening process will be implemented in the next months.