The present paper aims at examining one of the recently launched initiatives that pursue a comprehensive transformation of agriculture: The New Vision for Agriculture (NVA) – a worldwide, private sector led initiative seeking the development of sustainable agricultural systems to ensure food security and spur economic growth. As a response to the suggestion of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), we intend to provide a better understanding of the motivation of project board members Nestlé, Syngenta and Swiss Re to be part of the NVA. The goal is to examine the reasons why these companies promote such an initiative and to assess how its findings are implemented in the companies’ corporate strategies. Special attention will be given on how smallholder farmers are perceived and what role they are given in the strategies and supply chains of these companies. Finally, the paper provides space for critical voices that have been raised against the NVA.