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Cargill announces new sustainability, human rights commitments

Cargill announces new sustainability, human rights commitments

Company reinforces intent to operate more sustainable supply chains while supporting ag development.

Cargill has announced new steps it is taking to advance its commitment to protect forests and promote rural agricultural development across its supply chains with the launch of a South America Sustainable Soy Policy, a Human Rights Commitment and an updated Forest Policy.

“Farming and forests can — and must — coexist,” Cargill chairman and chief executive officer Dave MacLennan said. “The world depends on agriculture to feed a growing population but also depends on the long-term viability of our natural resources. Leading sector-wide transformation means we can innovate, challenge what is possible and ensure that people and the planet have what they need for generations to come.”

With the publication of the three policies, Cargill has outlined a complete approach to fully sustainable supply chains across soy, cocoa and palm. The policies are designed to:

  • Achieve deforestation-free supply chains that also protect native vegetation beyond forests.
  • Promote responsible production, which benefits farmers and surrounding communities. To date, the company has trained more than 250,000 farmers in good agricultural practices across the three supply chains, including training conducted in partnership with The Nature Conservancy across the soy supply chain.
  • Respect and uphold the rights of workers, indigenous peoples and communities.
  • Uphold transparency standards through the reporting of key metrics and progress, tied to time-bound action plans.
  • Address external stakeholder grievances in a timely manner, and where incidents are identified, take necessary, corrective action, including -- but not limited to -- disciplinary or commercial action.
  • Bring an outside perspective to the company’s sustainability efforts through an External Advisory Board.

The policies reinforce Cargill’s intent to make the necessary changes to achieve a deforestation-free supply chain -- yet no single company can achieve zero deforestation alone. In that respect, Cargill has joined forces with industry partners, direct and indirect suppliers, customers, governments and farmer groups, as the practices of deforestation and land conversion are driven by complex economic forces that span the globe.

“For more than 15 years, we have worked with Cargill and producers in Brazil to promote sustainable agricultural practices and protect forests,” said David Cleary, director of global agriculture at The Nature Conservancy. “Comprehensive sustainability policies, combined with action on the ground, will help ensure we sustain natural landscapes not only today but for years to come. There has been good progress, but work must continue to end deforestation."

Ruth Kimmelshue, senior vice president of Cargill business operations and supply chain, added, “Ending deforestation requires a balance of competing environmental, economic and social priorities. We are committed to convening the critical stakeholders necessary to achieve our shared goal: deforestation-free supply chains across the globe.”

Cargill said its sustainability commitments are guided by its purpose: to nourish the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way. The company has established a corporate Sustainability Hub to ensure that the efforts are operationalized across the organization. The hub shares learnings and best practices across the company’s supply chains and with the broader industry to drive sector-wide transformation.

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