Cargill sets out 2030 cocoa sustainability goals

4ee6f5e2-c38e-4454-9d87-fdd7bd6beb0barticleimage.jpg

04 Oct 2017 --- Cargill has published its third report on the progress and achievements of the Cargill Cocoa Promise, which the company calls its: “commitment to sparking a more sustainable cocoa sector for generations to come.” Building on a decades-long focus on sustainability, the Cargill Cocoa Promise has so far supported more than 145,000 farmers worldwide with market access, training and resources, while working with almost 500 farmer organizations and cooperatives, the company points out.

Now Cargill notes that the Cargill Cocoa Promise is continuing to evolve to meet the most pressing needs of cocoa farmers and communities, with the establishment of a future pathway aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Following on from the controversies that were recently highlighted in an investigation into so-called “dirty cocoa” beans, FoodIngredientsFirst examined how the major players are working towards a sustainable supply chain. There may be many unanswered questions, but what we do know is that the industry is working hard to improve the sustainability of cocoa farming on all levels. 

Last month, UK national newspaper, The Guardian, published an expose about what it describes as “dirty cocoa,” following an investigation which involved a visit to the Ivory Coast, where much of the world’s cocoa grows. The article says that the world’s chocolate industry is “driving deforestation on a devastating scale in West Africa” and that “illegal product” is mixed in with “clean” beans in the supply chain, making the point that it’s extremely difficult to know in which products “dirty cocoa” may end up.

Cargill sent a statement which says: “Cargill is working every day to build a thriving cocoa sector by partnering with farmers and working across our industry. While this report talks about the challenges in the cocoa sector, Cargill has been taking action on the ground for decades, addressing the problem head-on. We have made a pledge to end deforestation – and we are committed to delivering.”

“Through the Cargill Cocoa Promise, we are working to address social and economic issues to ensure a sustainable supply of cocoa. We are increasing the amount of third-party certified cocoa to build on insights from certification programs. We anticipate more than 70 percent of the cocoa Cargill sourced from Cote d’Ivoire will be third-party verified or certified by the end of 2018.” Click to Enlarge

“Supporting smallholder farmers to build more resilient and sustainable businesses has been at the core of our own cocoa and chocolate business ethos for over two decades,” says Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate President, Harold Poelma. “But the challenges smallholder farmers face have changed – and our strategy has evolved accordingly. Using the learnings and insights gathered over the years, we have charted a course for the future impact of the Cargill Cocoa Promise.”

This year’s report from the company focuses on progress in the areas of direct sourcing, limiting deforestation, improving traceability and building up the socioeconomic resilience of farmers and their wider communities.

Cargill points out that 85 percent of its sustainable cocoa is sourced directly from farmers through farmer organizations and cooperatives. Working with farmer groups enables Cargill to strengthen these organizations’ own internal capabilities, supporting them to become more efficient, profitable and self-sustaining, it adds.

For instance, in 2016-17, farmers in Côte d’Ivoire who implemented the learnings of one-to-one coaching on good farming practices saw their yields increase 49 percent on average.

Broader activities build resilience
Creating a self-sustaining ripple effect is also the aim of broader community activities, particularly in the area of income diversification, which can help build economic resilience in the face of fluctuating conditions.

For instance, through an ongoing global partnership with the humanitarian organization CARE, Cargill notes that it has introduced more than 175 village savings and loans schemes through Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. This has helped more than 4,000 people – half of whom are women – obtain small loans to start their own businesses.

Cargill says it is working to entirely eliminate all forms of child labor in the cocoa supply chain and ensure children have a bright future to look forward to. So far, over 145,000 farmers have been trained to understand the worst forms of child labor, and 20,000 children have been provided with access to education and healthcare.

Tech drives development
Technology is proving an invaluable tool for Cargill in driving progress, particularly around more accurate and transparent product traceability. Across the globe, GPS mapping of more than 56,000 farms is boosting provenance information and informing farm development planning.

Meanwhile, in Ghana, 25,000 farmers have signed onto a scheme that allows the company to tag and track each bag of cocoa beans Cargill buys back to the farmer. At the point of delivery, farmers are immediately paid via mobile money accounts.

New innovations have a vital role to play in protecting the planet and the livelihoods of smallholder farmers, Cargill notes. Using GPS technology, the company conducted a risk assessment of 2.3 million hectares of forest to evaluate habitat type and tree cover loss, as part of its global efforts to eliminate deforestation across agricultural supply chains by 2030. The results serve as a baseline to prioritize interventions and advance sustainable landscape approaches.

Click to EnlargeExpanded commitment to SDGs
Cargill firmly believes that investing in sustainability is an investment in the long-term security of the cocoa supply chain. With this in mind, and building on evidence and experience from the past two decades, the company points out that it is expanding its commitment to the SDGs and has charted a clear course for the future with five 2030 Goals in the following areas:

• Farmer Livelihoods. Cargill says it will champion professional cocoa farming practices to strengthen the socio-economic resilience of one million cocoa farmers and their communities.

• Community Wellbeing. Cargill says it will enhance the safety and well-being of children and families in cocoa farming areas, by eliminating child labor in its supply chain and giving one million families access to basic services.

• Protecting Our Planet. Cargill says it will promote environmental best practices in its business and across its supply chain, working towards zero deforestation in its supply chain.

• Consumer Confidence. Cargill says it will help consumers around the world choose sustainable cocoa and chocolate products with confidence, by ensuring 100 percent farmer-to-plant cocoa bean traceability and 100 percent chocolate ingredients sourced in line with its sustainability code of conduct.

• Transformation, Together. Cargill says it will use the power of partnerships to accelerate and magnify its efforts to achieve a level of sector transformation that cannot be accomplished alone.

The 2030 Goals are intended to allow Cargill to think globally but act locally, using the framework of the SDGs to meet the direct needs of people in cocoa communities in a transparent, credible and measurable way.

“Achieving the SDGs demands a common approach, making use of new innovations and working with partners across the sector to achieve our common ambition of a more sustainable cocoa sector overall. We believe our global goals will help accelerate this sector-wide shift, to the benefit of all stakeholders involved,” says Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate’s Director of Sustainability, Taco Terheijden.

Cargill-Europe

Collapse

More than simply a food ingredients supplier, Cargill deeply understands our customers' strategies, consumers, distribution channels and competition. We deliver solutions that help the food industry and beverage manufacturers drive growth through new product innovation and reformulation. Cargill helps reduce costs through supply chain and manufacturing process efficiency and managing commodity price risk. Cargill helps our food industry and beverage manufacturing customers create unique products that fill product pipelines and reduce time-to-market by connecting our diverse food ingredients supplier capabilities — marketers, research scientist, application experts, risk managers and manufacturing process engineers — and seamlessly delivering these resources to customers. As a service and solution-oriented food ingredients supplier, our broad portfolio helps our customers address their food product development needs across the spectrum of applications and categories. Cargill helps our customers safely manufacture products every day around the world by reliably originating and distributing grain, oilseeds and other food ingredient commodities and by processing a diverse food ingredients supplier portfolio that spans core and specialty ingredients, ingredient systems and finished food systems.

Related Articles

Food Ingredients News

Clean label: Kerry research examines America's “no-no” ingredients

23 Oct 2017 --- Kerry has published a report following a consumer research study focusing on clean label. By measuring 54 specific ingredients to better understand how perceptions are changing across generations, Kerry has discovered a wealth of information about consumer thinking on clean label. Topics including consumer awareness, willingness to pay, influential claims and ingredient expectations, which are all explored in the 26-page report.

Business News

Campden BRI helps lead research into English wines

23 Oct 2017 --- Campden BRI will help lead research into UK wines following the appointment of Geoff Taylor, Campden BRI’s wines and spirits expert, as chair of the UK Wine Producers research and development group. The group will encourage, assist and support research projects to improve quality, yield, consistency and sustainability within the wine industry.

Food Ingredients News

PureCircle in stevia plant genome breakthrough

20 Oct 2017 --- For the first time scientists have completed the sequencing of the stevia plant genome unveiling major breakthroughs in research. Scientists from producer and innovator of stevia sweeteners for the global beverage and food industry, PureCircle, have found a way to map the genetic makeup of the stevia plant, in what they claim is a pioneering move. The mapping will provide an in-depth understanding of how the calorie-free sugar substitute derives its characteristic sweetness. 

Food Ingredients News

Arla goes Pro with launch of new foodservice division

20 Oct 2017 --- Arla Foods has launched its new foodservice division, Arla Pro, which was created especially for chefs. The launch happened at Dinerama, a global street food market in Shoreditch, London, UK.

Business News

UK signs up to Dairy Declaration of Rotterdam

20 Oct 2017 --- The UK dairy industry has endorsed a declaration to promote the sustainability of dairy systems around the world. The Dairy Declaration of Rotterdam, a unique partnership between the International Dairy Federation (IDF) and the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) signals a recognition of the dairy sector’s commitment towards feeding the world with safe, nutritious and sustainable products.

More Articles