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Cargill progress in protecting South American forests

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

As part of its commitment to sustainably nourish the world, Cargill reports continued progress toward building a deforestation-free soy supply chain. The company outlined key achievements, including mapping of its Brazilian soy supply chain, in its mid-year progress report.

South America, a major supplier of soy on the world stage, figures prominently in the company’s soy sustainability work, as it is also home to vital landscapes such as the Amazon, Cerrado and Gran Chaco biomes. Each biome, although vastly different in terms of their natural characteristics and the local communities that depend on them, is equally important and is getting the attention it needs to continue to thrive.

“We haven’t wavered in our commitment to protecting forests and native vegetation, and we believe this can be done in ways that are economically viable for farmers and local communities,” said John Hartmann, global sustainability lead for Cargill’s agricultural supply chain. “By working with farmers, customers, governments and others in the industry, we have made meaningful progress on our soy action plan and will continue efforts to make the soy supply chain more sustainable.”

 

 

Efforts to foster transparency and improve traceability figure large in the report, as the company works to find ways for both forests and farming to thrive. Critical milestones include:

  • Cargill mapped 100% of its Brazilian supply chain with georeferenced single points – completing the project six months ahead of schedule. Georeferenced single points allow the company to identify the locations of its direct and indirect suppliers, a critical step toward effectively protecting forests and native vegetation.
  • For the first time, Cargill calculated the estimated share of its soy in Brazil grown on land that is deforestation- and conversion-free, 95.68%, by analyzing data from external sources about both crop growth and changes in land use, using 2008 (Forest Code) as a reference point.
  • Cargill expanded its direct engagement with farmers in Brazil, including the launch of a new partnership with the largest farmer association in the state of Bahia.
  • The company continued to grow its Sustainably Sourced and Supplied certification program in Brazil and Paraguay, providing a large market for soybeans grown through verified sustainable methods. Farmers who commit to this program pledge to produce their crops by using the best agricultural practices, protecting worker welfare, and managing greenhouse gas emissions under a continuous improvement process.

The report also outlines Cargill’s new transformational partnerships with farmers and advancements on its $30-million fund to find innovative solutions to protect forests in ways that are economically viable for farmers in South America. In addition, the company shares updates on its Land Use and Forest Sustainability Advisory Panel.

Looking ahead

In the next six months, Cargill will continue to deliver on its commitments made in its Soy Action Plan transforming its supply chain to be deforestation-free while protecting native vegetation beyond forests, promoting responsible production, which benefits farmers and surrounding communities, respecting and upholding the rights of workers, indigenous peoples and communities, and upholding the high standards of transparency through reporting of key metrics, progress and grievances.

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