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Organisation and profile

Organisation and profile

Establishment and Membership

The Common Fund for Commodities (CFC) is an autonomous intergovernmental financial institution established within the framework of the United Nations. The Agreement Establishing the Common Fund for Commodities was negotiated in the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) from 1964 to 1980 and became effective in 1989. The first commodity development project was approved in 1991.

The Common Fund for Commodities forms a partnership of 101 MEMBER STATES plus 9 INSTITUTIONAL MEMBERS. Membership of the Fund is open to all States Members of the United Nations or any of its specialised agencies, or of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and intergovernmental organisations of regional economic integration which exercise competence in the fields of activity of the Fund.

Governing Bodies

The governing bodies of the Fund are its Governing Council and the Executive Board. 
The Managing Director is the Chief Executive Officer of the Fund. The Executive Board is advised by a Consultative Committee, composed of nine independent experts, on technical and economic aspects of projects submitted to the Fund.

The Governing Council meets once a year, and the Executive Board and Consultative Committee biannually.


The Headquarters of the Common Fund are located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Objectives and Main activities

The Common Fund’s mandate is to enhance the socioeconomic development of commodity producers and contribute to the development of society as a whole. In line with its market-oriented approach, the Fund concentrates on commodity development projects financed from its resources. These resources consist of voluntary contributions, capital subscriptions by Member Countries transferred to the Second Account and interest earned. In partnership with other development institutions, the private sector and civil society, the Fund endeavours to achieve overall efficiency in and impact on commodity development.

The CFC’s aim is to realize the potential of commodity production, processing, manufacturing, and trade for the benefit of the poor. The CFC supports implementation of activities that:
(i) are innovative and target new opportunities in commodity markets leading to commodity based growth, employment generation, increase in household incomes, reduction in poverty, and enhancement of food security,
(ii) are scalable, replicable and financially sustainable,
(iii) have a potential measurable positive socio-economic and environmental impact on the stakeholders in commodity value chains as compared to the prevailing baseline situation,
(iv) develop stronger connections with existing markets or create new markets along the value chain,
(v) increase financial or other services to commodity producers and commodity based businesses,
(vi) enhance knowledge generation and information dissemination, and
(vii) build effective and cost efficient collaboration between producers, industry, governments, civil society organisations and other stakeholders for commodity based development.

CFC interventions use value chain approach to identify chain participants and to pinpoint opportunities and obstacles in specific commodity value chains thereby developing viable solutions.
Value chain analysis leads to identification of opportunities for value chain development.

The CFC supported interventions cover all aspects of the value chain from production to consumption i.e. from “field to the fork”. The CFC supports commodity based activities along the entire commodity value chain which extend across local, national, regional and international markets. Specifically targeted areas are:

  • Production, productivity and quality improvements
  • Processing and value addition
  • Product differentiation
  • Diversification
  • Marketing
  • Technology transfer and up gradation
  • Introduction of measures to minimise the physical marketing and trading risks
  • Facilitation of trade finance
  • Risk Management