Cargill shows progress with latest annual sustainability report

The latest chocolate and sustainability report from Cargill has highlighted its work supporting key cocoa growing communities across Brazil, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Indonesia.

According to the global ingredients company’s annual review, progress has been made towards its five core sustainability goals, including providing vital agricultural training in crop production for more than 200,000 farmers. The initiative is part of its ongoing Cocoa Promise community support scheme.

The company has reported providing GPS polygon mapping of more than 110,000 farmers and the assessment of 188,065 hectares of forest within Cargill’s direct cocoa supply chain (in partnership with Global Forest Watch). This work establishes a baseline identifying where the cocoa comes from, which areas may be at risk of deforestation and how to mitigate this risk through specific interventions.

Cargill has also completed assessments in 137 new communities in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. As a result, these communities are currently developing Community Action Plans (CAPs), which enable their leaders to evaluate local needs, identify available resources or areas for development, and define their path forward.

The company said it is focused on achieving a more transparent supply chain and implementing scalable solutions through technology and evidence-based approaches. Recent actions have focused on building the capacity of local farmers, improving supply traceability, increasing access to training and educational resources for cocoa households, professionalizing farming and protecting natural resources.

As the business acknowledged, technology plays a vital role in informing and accelerating its impact in cocoa sourcing regions. Using digital payments, farmers are able to receive secure, timely payment for their beans, while Cargill’s digital cooperative management system ensures that farmers and farmer organisations are empowered to manage their operations like businesses.

Data from the deployment of GPS polygon mapping and electronic bean tracking solutions inform how Cargill designs and deploys its sustainability programs, in turn helping customers deliver on consumer demands for ethically sourced products.

“This sustainability report highlights how we are taking action on a range of issues across the cocoa sector, while maintaining a farmer-first approach. It is vital that everything we do creates lasting benefits for cocoa farmers, their families and communities, and empowers them to own their futures and achieve success as small businesses while protecting our planet,” said Harold Poelma, president of Cargill’s cocoa & chocolate business.

He added: “It is our belief that the journey towards sustainable business practices is far greater than the actions or interests of any one company. By partnering up with other organisations and playing to our individual strengths we can achieve fundamental and lasting transformation, together.”

In total, the company has 155,000 employees in 70 countries, and to help ensure a more transparent supply of quality cocoa beans, the company established its own sourcing and trading operations at origin in Brazil, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Indonesia. The Cargill Cocoa Promise is delivered through a total of 3,600  cocoa and chocolate experts working across 54 locations.


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