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Strengthening Food Security with 4C

Increasing international demand for agricultural commodities fosters competition between local food security and the production for export. Food Security Standard (FSS) focuses on the Human Right to Adequate Food and addresses the four pillars of food security: availability, access, utilization, and stability.

It was established by the WWF, Welthungerhilfe, and ZEF (Center for Development Research) with support of the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

The FSS provides a set of practical and measurable criteria and audit tools. It was already tested in several pilot projects (see the examples below) and is ready to be implemented. 4C strongly welcomes this additional opportunity to support pathways to food security in developing regions. For this reason, the FSS can be fully integrated into the 4C certification audit upon request as an add-on checklist to the regular 4C audits. On the basis of benchmarking of 4C and the FSS, 4C’s checklist is then complemented by extended food security criteria.

By adopting the FSS, companies along the value chain can now demonstrate that they are committed to the Human Right to Adequate Food and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


“Food security requires a joint action of everyone involved in the coffee sector. Coffee-importing companies can trigger and support this action, if they request integrating the FSS into sustainability audits and support its implementation. This way, companies show sensitivity for local challenges and promote a deeper understanding of the food security situation in the region. Gaps and areas for improvement can be identified and a continuous improvement initiated via certification,” – Dr. Rafaël Schneider, Coordinator of the FSS Project and Deputy Director Policy Department at Deutsche Welthungerhilfe e. V., Bonn, Germany and 4C Board Member.


If you are interested in integrating the FSS in your regular audit, please contact us.

Further Information: Downloads and Links

For additional information on the project, you can visit the website of the Welthungerhilfe.