“I congratulate Bayer AG, Catholic Relief Services, ADM, Concern Worldwide, and the One Acre Fund as inaugural champions. NGOs and the private sector are critical to addressing the challenges of climate change and the global food security crisis. We welcome these and future champions’ commitment, collaboration, and partnership in the global VACS movement.”

Secretary Blinken
COP28 – Dec 1, 2023

The Vision for Adapted Crops and Soils (VACS) Champions Program recognizes private sector and other non-governmental organizations for undertaking projects committed to developing climate-adapted nutritious crop varieties and building, healthy fertile soils.  Current VACS Champions include Bayer AG, Catholic Relief Services, ADM, Concern Worldwide, The One Acre Fund, Grow Further, Global Crop Diversity Trust, and IBM, and Helen Keller Intl.

Organizations identified as VACS Champions will be publicly recognized and will be free to refer to themselves publicly as “VACS Champions.”  VACS Champions is a self-certification program.

For contributing and implementing organization(s) to be considered for designation as a VACS Champion, they must submit a pledge identifying their project and indicating that one of the project’s primary aims is to:

  • Enable the breeding of improved, climate-adapted varieties of one or more of the nutritious, traditional and indigenous food crops listed in the VACS Phase 1 report or subsequently identified focus crops; 
  • Improve farmer access to one or more of those varieties; 
  • Build value chains for one of more of those varieties; 
  • Build soil health and fertility in a manner that maintains or increases soil organic matter and prevents soil erosion
  • Organizations are also strongly encouraged to couple programming with coordination with the VACS multi-donor funding platform at IFAD to advance a global, harmonized VACS strategy.

VACS, launched in February 2023 by the U.S. Department of State in partnership with the African Union and the Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN, seeks to foster more resilient food systems through a focus on climate-adapted crops and healthy soils.

For more information about VACS Champions please contact: Globalfoodsecurity@state.gov.

U.S. Department of State

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