Queen Máxima to address Sustainable Trade Initiative

On Monday 15 November, Her Majesty Queen Máxima will open a meeting on Gender Transformative Business Models at the headquarters of the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) in Utrecht with a speech on improving the position of female entrepreneurs in agriculture. The hybrid conference will be hosted by IDH and the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP). Queen Máxima will speak in her capacity as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development. 

Women produce 60 to 80% of the food in most developing countries, and they are responsible for half of global food production, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization. Yet these women often lack decision-making power. They also have limited access to financial resources to improve business operations or increase production, for example (source: CGAP). The conference is aimed at representatives of private organisations in the agriculture sector, financial institutions and service providers. They play an important role in developing innovative gender-inclusive business models that help give female agricultural entrepreneurs an official role and decision-making power. If these women could participate in the labour market on an equal basis, output could increase by between 2.5% and 4% and feed 100 to 150 million more people (Mercy Corps Agrifin and Dalberg, 2021). 

In her speech, Queen Máxima will address the importance of gender-neutral business models in agriculture for inclusive finance. Prior to this, she will have a closed round-table discussion on this subject with several CEOs who will be attending.

After her speech there will be a panel discussion with CEOs, followed by five online breakout sessions on various related topics.  

Founded in 2008, the Sustainable Trade Initiative brings together companies, governments and non-profit organisations in public-private coalitions that jointly develop new business models and financing structures for sustainable production and trade, especially ifor tropical agricultural crops. The initiative is financially supported by the Dutch, Danish and Swiss governments, among other parties.