Cargill shares results on building deforestation-free supply chains

Company calls for new approaches to sustainable commodities

16th January, 2017, New Delhi – In a report issued today, Cargill presented progress on its efforts to meet its commitment to eliminate deforestation from its supply chains. The first Cargill Report on Forests covers on-the-ground actions within six priority supply chains and global collaborations to advance sustainable agriculture. Cargill worked with partners to engage more than 148,000 farmers and has established a baseline for measuring tree cover loss by mapping nearly 2,000 locations across 14 countries to assess sourcing areas. 

Cargill shares results on building deforestation-free supply chains

In the lead up to the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Cargill’s inaugural report is intended to spark broader discussion of the issues driving deforestation and the policies and practices that can prevent it.

“Ending deforestation is critical to curb climate change,” said Cargill CEO and Chairman David MacLennan. “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.”

Some of the highlights described in the report include:

  • Progress against action plans to protect forests in priority supply chains: palm oil globally, soy in Brazil and Paraguay, cocoa globally, cotton and maize in Zambia, and fiber-based packaging. In support of these action plans, Cargill issued a new Policy on Sustainable Fiber-based Packaging.

  • Programs and trainings to promote sustainable land use, impacting more than 148,000 farmers and suppliers, including 15,000 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.

  • Analysis, conducted in partnership with World Resources Institute and Global Forest Watch, of nearly 2,000 sourcing locations, both directly owned and supplier-operated, across its global footprint to establish a preliminary baseline, which is necessary for measuring progress toward no-deforestation targets. The assessment spanned a sourcing area encompassing 166 million hectares, including 119 million hectares of tree cover. The analysis found approximately 1.7 million hectares, or 1.4 percent, of tree cover loss in 2014 in these areas. This assessment illustrates the landscape context of land use change in the vicinity of Cargill’s sourcing areas, but the forest impacts cannot be interpreted as directly related to Cargill’s sourcing itself. The next step is to identify the sources contributing to tree cover loss and develop solutions to protect forest areas.

  • Extension of the Brazilian Soy Moratorium in the Amazon and the implementation of the Brazilian Forest Code and the Rural Environmental Registry, or CAR, through supplier training and education, and partnerships with cross-sector and multi-sector organizations. Cargill soy contracts require farms to be in compliance with the CAR.

Cargill also outlined clear challenges and new approaches that are needed to drive continued progress:

  • Building consensus around definitions and standards of measurement to effectively monitor progress.

  • Driving engagement with local and national governments to advance more effective institutional frameworks and jurisdictional approaches.

  • Managing redundancy in systems and standards by coordinating within and across sectors to promote sustainable landscape approaches.

  • Engaging suppliers to implement changes that begin at the point of origin.

“We realize the private-sector can lead in making agriculture and supply chains more sustainable,” said Cargill global leader of business operations and supply chain Ruth Kimmelshue. “But we can’t do it alone. We want to work with customers, governments and others to apply approaches that can work at-scale and deploy technology and practices that will give farmers the tools they need to create a more food-secure world.”

Cargill’s purpose is to be the leader in nourishing the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way. The company has supported a variety of initiatives including the Brazilian Soy Moratorium, the Sustainable Palm Oil Manifesto, the New York Declaration on Forests, the United Nations’ Scaling Up Nutrition Movement and the Sustainable Development Goals, and the American Business Act on Climate Pledge to put its voice and influence behind public-private efforts aimed at mitigating key drivers of deforestation and climate change.

Cargill is advancing sustainability across four focus areas: land use, including forests; water resources; climate change; and farmer livelihoods. Learn more at

About Cargill
Cargill provides food, agriculture, financial and industrial products and services to the world. Together with farmers, customers, governments and communities, we help people thrive by applying our insights and 150 years of experience. We have 150,000 employees in 70 countries who are committed to feeding the world in a responsible way, reducing environmental impact and improving the communities where we live and work. For more information, visit and our News Center.