Making policies work
  • Publication

    Circular economy opportunities in South Africa-EU food trade: The case of packaging

  • Publication

    The integration of climate change and circular economy in foreign policies

  • Commentary

    Now more than ever: European businesses and due diligence in times of Corona

  • Publication

    Sewing the pieces together: Towards an EU strategy for fair and sustainable textiles

  • Commentary

    To circularity and beyond: A comprehensive EU strategy for textiles

  • Publication

    Sustainable EU business and trade: How the Enterprise Europe Network can promote trade beyond Europe

  • Publication

    Making it count: Civil society engagement in EU trade agreements

A transition to socially and environmentally sustainable economies cannot be achieved without responsible businesses. The private sector engagement team of the Economic and Agricultural Transformation programme supports public and private actors to help shape policies, instruments and collaborative efforts that contribute to private sector development and put sustainability at the heart of production, development and trade.

Companies are increasingly under scrutiny as to how responsible their conduct is. In the textile and the mining sectors, for instance, the whistle on human rights and environmental degradation has been blown quite loudly in the last years. But also the public sector needs to play its part by creating an enabling environment for more sustainable business. The COVID-19 pandemic presents major challenges for companies, and has made clear that social and environmental sustainability is critical to making global supply chains more resilient – yet, because of the economic downturn, it risks falling off the agenda.


What we do


  • We look at how the private sector can contribute to sustainable development in Africa and Europe.
  • We work on approaches and instruments for private sector development.
  • We look at European Union (EU) legislation and voluntary policy measures that promote sustainable value chain development and responsible business conduct.
  • We support the transition towards greener value chains.

Our work focuses on themes such as private sector development instruments, circular economy, due diligence legislation and the role of civil society in EU trade agreements. Value chains covered in our work include agriculture, textiles and mining.

For more information about our recent activities and projects, have a look at our 2021 work plan or our 2020 annual report.


Get in touch


Do you want to know more about our work or are you interested in partnering with us? Get in touch with one of our team members.


About the Economic and Agricultural Transformation programme


Economic and agricultural transformation is central to many African and European development strategies. It can create more and better jobs, stimulate sustainable economic growth and tackle inequality. We want to help accomplish these goals. Our three programme teams focus on finance, trade and investment, the private sector and sustainable food systems.


Photo courtesy of Thinkstock.