For more than 15 years, Cargill has been working to improve the sustainability of the palm oil industry globally – through our own plantations, with our direct and third-party suppliers and in partnership with the smallholders we support. We were an early member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) in 2004.
Our commitment on the movement
Cargill is committed to a transparent, traceable and sustainable palm oil supply chain. Cargill’s plantations not only support and demonstrate leadership progress against these commitments, but also strive to continually improve and raise the bar on sustainability.
“I believe that we cannot feed a growing global population without palm oil and we must at the same time make all our supply chains sustainable to protect our planet. To be successful, this has to be driven by both supply and demand activities, and this is where the Sustainable Palm Oil Choice initiative can play a key role. Helping to drive demand fully towards sustainable palm oil throughout Europe and across the industry.”Simon King, Product Line Lead Cargill Oils & Seeds EMEA
Tackling deforestation through Landscape Approaches
Cargill and other key players in the industry have long been working to produce and source palm oil responsibly. Programs to deliver training and more visibility have taken root across sourcing regions with significant scale. However, individual companies efforts will only take the industry so far. In order to drive long-term, transformational change, we must take a more holistic approach.
Recently, Cargill, Musim Mas, GAR, Pepsico, Danone, Unilever and Neste joined forces with Proforest and Daemeter (CORE) to take targeted action on the ground to combat deforestation through a new landscape initiative. A landscape level initiative allows companies, growers, buyers and other stakeholders such as local governments and civil society to join together and tackle persistent, complex social and environmental challenges in a defined geography with greater focus and impact.
This newly formed coalition will focus its work in the Siak and Pelalawan districts of the Riau province in Indonesia. These regions were chosen because of their long history of palm oil production, high rate of deforestation and chronic fires, social issues relating to workers’ health and safety, land conflicts, and concerns around smallholder farmers’ rights.
Together, the coalition aims to develop scalable solutions to address these environmental and social issues. We hope to empower local organizations, improve farmer livelihoods and ultimately transition large parts of both districts to sustainable landscapes that protect forests and those working in agriculture. There are existing initiatives in both districts that address some of these issues, including our work with Musim Mas in Siak to trial High Carbon Stock (HCS) and High Carbon Value (HCV) assessments with smallholders. The coalition plans to build on and support these efforts to promote local ownership and greater collaboration among stakeholders.
We are eager to see what we will learn in Siak and Pelalawan that we can take to a larger scale in other areas. We believe by identifying areas of continued challenge, working on the ground with key partners and empowering local organizations and producers we can more effectively address critical issues, build capabilities and ultimately transform the palm sector.
Our UN Sustainable Development Goals
My organisation is most concerned with the following UN SDGs:
Quality Education, Health and Nutrition, Biodiversity and Environmental Protection, Community Development and Gender equality
Our struggles and future plans
While we are encouraged by our progress and that of key industry players, we know there is always much more to do. We are taking action to develop and implement scalable solutions that address common challenges, reach millions of smallholders and increase public-private partnerships. Through these actions, we aim to enforce long-term, systemic change to ultimately transform the industry.
We are developing a standard approach for monitoring and reporting progress on No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation (NDPE) commitments. The resulting NDPE Implementation Framework, led by Proforest, is designed to increase transparency about the progress that has been made so far, what still needs to be done and the challenges that must be addressed in order for companies to deliver on NPDE commitments. This approach will help in the creation of mill profiles for consistency when measuring progress.
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