Cargill has presented a ground-breaking plan to curb deforestation that could have huge impact on efforts to keep forests standing, one of the most effective ways to mitigate climate change. The company has released its first Cargill Report on Forests covering on-the-ground actions within six priority supply chains and global collaborations to advance sustainable agriculture.
In order to compile the report, Cargill worked with several global partners to engage more than 148,000 farmers and establish a baseline for measuring tree cover loss by mapping the sourcing areas of nearly 2,000 locations across 14 countries.
The report, released earlier this week, will be presented at the 2017 World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, and will start a debate around the issues driving deforestation and what be done to stop it.
“Ending deforestation is critical to curb climate change,” Cargill CEO and Chairman David MacLennan, said in a statement. “Today, we are at an important crossroads as we work to nourish the world and protect the planet. Sustainable agriculture must be a part of the solution.
The report highlights Cargill’s progress on key areas in priority supply chains such as soy in Brazil and Paraguay, cocoa and palm oil globally, cotton and maize in Zambia and fiber-based packaging.
Another major action described in the report is the development and implementation of programs and trainings for more than 148,000 farmers and suppliers to promote sustainable land use. These include 15,000 small- and large-scale soy farmers in Brazil, 21,000 palm oil smallholder farmers in Indonesia, 1,000 soy farmers in Paraguay and 90,000 cocoa farmers and cooperatives in West Africa.
Cargill has also partnered with World Resources Institute and Global Forest Watch to carry out an analysis of nearly 2,000 sourcing locations, including ones owned by the company and those operated by their parties, covering the whole gobal footprint. All in all, it looked at 119 million hectares of tree coverage, with a 1.4 percent tree cover loss in 2014.
These figures give Cargill a baseline reference to measure progress in fighting deforestation, giving the company a picture of what is happening around the company’s sourcing areas, even though the impacts on forest are not necessarily due to Cargill’s activities, which is what the company wants to determine next and what it can do to stop it.
More specifically in Brazil, Cargill will extend the Brazilian Soy Moratorium in the Amazon, which has succeeded in curtailing tree-felling in that region, and the Rural Environmental Registry (CAR) through supplier training and education, as well as partnerships several organizations. Cargill soy contracts in Brazil now require farms to comply with the Brazilian Forest Code and CAR.
The company also wants to collaborate with local and national governments to push ahead better legal frameworks and approaches and encourage suppliers to be more active in promoting changes.=
“We realize the private sector can lead in making agriculture and supply chains more sustainable,” Cargill global leader of business operations and supply chain Ruth Kimmelshue, added. “But we can’t do it alone. We want to work with customers, governments, NGOs and others to apply scalable approaches and deploy technology and practices that will give farmers the tools they need to create a more food-secure world.”
Image credit: Cargill