Cargill response to deforestation concerns and company actions
Cargill has been working to nourish the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way for more than 150 years. We have a strong track record of successfully addressing complex challenges and driving lasting, positive change for the entire industry. We are firmly committed to using that expertise and leveraging constructive partnerships to end deforestation and protect human rights.
Time-bound action plans articulate how we will deliver this zero-deforestation commitment in our cocoa, palm and soy supply chains. Working with global NGOs and local organizations, we are steadfast in achieving our shared, long-term goals to nourish both people and the planet.
We remain committed to conducting business in a responsible manner and to supporting the communities where we live and work. From our strengthened human rights commitment to training 1.2 million farmers last year to supporting the communities where we live and work including almost $60 million in total charitable contributions in 2018 across 54 countries, we live our purpose every day.
Land Use and Deforestation
We remain firmly committed to ending deforestation in our supply chains and are working to find solutions that balance agricultural production, with the need to protect forests, native vegetation and address climate change.
To prevent deforestation in our supply chains, we need to transform farmer practices at scale – change is only possible if we bring producers along. Our objective is supply chain transformation. It’s not about only enhancing our own supply chain, but also about helping the entire industry be more sustainable.
Brazilian Soy Supply Chain
Together with trusted advisors and local stakeholders, we recently released a Policy and time-bound Action Plan for South American soy. Through this plan, we will complete a comprehensive risk assessment of both direct and indirect suppliers in our soy supply chain, take action where there is greatest risk and potential for impact and we will work with industry to set a cut-off date accordingly.
As our Chief Sustainability Officer and Head of Supply Chain Ruth Kimmelshue stated in a recent interview, “We are perfectly aligned [with the environmental groups] on what the problem is. Where we disagree is on how we most effectively solve the problem.”
We’re concerned that a sweeping moratorium fails to address social, economic and environmental concerns. Sector-wide targeted cutoff dates, which we continue to explore through the Cerrado Working Group (GTC), take a more focused approach by stopping sourcing from areas where land clearance continues in very high-risk and environmentally vulnerable areas.
Through our role in the GTC – which is led by an independent facilitator with support from WWF Brazil and The Nature Conservancy – we’re helping advance conversations to identify the right programs and policies for those high-risk regions that make forest protection economically viable for farmers. We expect a plan to come from the GTC in the next few months.
As these conversations continue with urgency, we’re moving forward with the actions outlined in our plan and continue to work with farmers to focus on the effective implementation of the Brazilian Forest Code and uphold robust internal controls to prevent purchases of products that are from non-compliant areas.
Addressing Human Rights
We are committed to respecting human rights by treating people with dignity and respect, both in the workplace and the communities where we do business. We expect our suppliers and partners to stand with us in prioritizing the safety, well-being and dignity of all individuals.
In our cocoa supply chain, our aim is to create thriving communities that can access education, health, nutrition, and economic opportunities.
Cargill does not tolerate, under any circumstances, the use of human trafficking, forced labor or child labor in our operations or supply chains. We are committed to eradicating child labor in our cocoa supply chain and we have developed a strategic action plan to deliver this by 2025.
We recognize that we cannot eliminate child labor from cocoa supply chains by working alone. That is why we are working hand in hand with government, civil society and other industry members to protect the rights of children in the cocoa sector. We are actively engaged with the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI), the World Cocoa Foundation and other multi-stakeholder initiatives focused on tackling child labor through preventative community outreach and innovative digital monitoring solutions. To that end, we have implemented a range of activities within our cocoa supply chain to identify and protect children at risk.
Cargill is involved in numerous food supply chains around the world, from farm to table. Our goal is to provide safe food and feed every time, everywhere. Food safety is at the core of everything we do at Cargill, and it’s fundamental to our success.
We take a comprehensive, science- and risk-based approach to food safety in our policies, operations and supply chains. Every day, we strive to continuously improve. And we know we can learn from and share with others, which is why we are part of the Global Food Safety Initiative, helping to spread best practices.