Company is realizing supply chain traceability, empowering cocoa farmers, and tackling pressing issues such as deforestation using the power of technology. Cargill’s 2017/2018 Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate Sustainability Report highlights the work being done every day to improve the lives of farmers and their communities in five origin countries where the company sources cocoa—Brazil, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Indonesia.
Harold Poelma, president of Cargill’s cocoa & chocolate business said “This sustainability report highlights how we are taking action on a range of issues across the cocoa sector, while maintaining a farmer-first approach. It is vital that everything we do creates lasting benefits for cocoa farmers, their families and communities, and empowers them to own their futures and achieve success as small businesses while protecting our planet.”
The company is focused on achieving a more transparent supply chain and implementing scalable solutions through technology and evidence-based approaches. Recent actions have focused on building the capacity of local farmers, improving traceability in the supply chain, increasing access to training and educational resources for cocoa households, professionalizing farming and protecting natural resources.
Technology plays a vital role in informing and accelerating Cargill’s impact in cocoa sourcing regions. Using digital payments, farmers are able to receive secure, timely payment for their beans, while Cargill’s digital Cooperative Management System ensures that farmers and farmer organizations are empowered to manage their operations like businesses.
Key milestones over the past year include:
- Providing Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) training and coaching to over 200,000 cocoa farmers worldwide. In Côte d’Ivoire, Cargill has seen GAP adoption rates double (from 14% to 28%), with farmers able to boost their productivity and manage their farms more sustainably.
- GPS polygon mapping of more than 110,000 farmers and the assessment of 188,065 hectares of forest within Cargill’s direct cocoa supply chain (in partnership with Global Forest Watch). This work establishes a baseline identifying where the cocoa comes from, which areas may be at risk of deforestation and how to mitigate this risk through specific interventions.
- Completed full needs assessments in 137 new communities in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. As a result, these communities are currently developing Community Action Plans (CAPs), which enable their leaders to evaluate local needs, identify available resources or areas for development, and define their path forward.
“It is our belief that the journey towards sustainable business practices is far greater than the actions or interests of any one company. By partnering up with other organizations and playing to our individual strengths we can achieve fundamental and lasting transformation, together,” added Mr Poelma.