Cargill has published an update to its sustainable cocoa sourcing strategy to align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and include efforts to eliminate deforestation by 2030.
The announcement has been made in the third report on the progress and achievements of the Cargill Cocoa Promise, the company’s commitment to sparking a more sustainable cocoa sector.
As part of the programme, Cargill claims it has supported ‘more than 145,000 farmers worldwide’ with market access, training and resources, while working with almost 500 farmer organisations and cooperatives.
This year’s report 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.
The company said that 85% of its sustainable cocoa is sourced directly from farmers through farmer organisations and cooperatives and that by working with farmer groups it can help them become more efficient, profitable and self-sustaining.
Technology is also said to be proving an invaluable tool in driving progress, particularly around more accurate and transparent product traceability. In Ghana, 25,000 farmers have signed onto a scheme that allows Cargill to tag and track each bag of cocoa beans the company buys. At the point of delivery, farmers are immediately paid via mobile money accounts.
Using GPS technology, Cargill 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.
We believe our global goals will help accelerate a sector-wide shift, to the benefit of all stakeholders involved
The company has expanded its commitment to the SDGs with five 2030 Goals in the following areas: farmer livelihoods, community wellbeing, protecting our planet, consumer confidence, and transformation together.
Cargill cocoa and chocolate president Harold Poelma said: “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.
“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.”
Cargill cocoa and chocolate director of sustainability Taco Terheijden added: “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.”
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