Improving the sustainability of palm oil production, processing and trading

In addition to our strong support of RSPO’s role in improving sustainability, we continue to make additional progress to improve the sustainability of palm oil production, processing and trading in the following areas:

Building a traceable supply chain

  • Cargill began a program last year of developing traceable supplies of palm oil. The results of this effort have been positive. One hundred percent of our palm oil originating from our refineries in Malaysia is fully traceable to the crude palm oil (cpo) mill level, and 30% is traceable to the fresh fruit bunch or plantation level.
  • Through this program, almost 1 million tons of traceable refined palm products are now available in the market. This program is an industry-leading example of developing transparency and traceability across independent palm oil supply chain segments.
  • We will continue these efforts going forward for Malaysia, Indonesia and other oil palm originations.

No deforestation

  • As a member of RSPO we have already committed to preserve High Conservation Value (HCV) land under RSPO Principles and Criteria (P&C) 5.2. We are pleased to report that we are going beyond RSPO requirements.
  • We have hired a non-profit organization to conduct a High Carbon Stock (HCS)1 analysis on Cargill’s recent palm development. We will utilize this HCS methodology based on six vegetation strata on future palm developments and participate in efforts to add further research in refining methodology of this important deforestation definition. Cargill understands that further research and pilot studies are underway across a number of geographies to identify HCS areas that can and should be protected. We support efforts to bring the latest science to refining methods to determine High Carbon Stock areas.
  • Before implementation of HCS area conservation, there will be an expert review and participatory consultation with governments, communities and NGOs. We will ensure that there is a robust, scientifically-sound, socially, politically and economically acceptable approach to identifying and protecting HCS forests.
  • We maintain our long-standing no-burn policy, which is also an RSPO commitment under P&C 5.5.

No peat

  • We remain committed to supporting RSPO P&C 4.3 and the application of Best Management practices in existing plantations on peat lands.
  • We also will implement a definition of peat as soil containing greater than 65% organic matter, regardless of depth.
  • In addition, we support working with experts to explore options of peat restoration or alternative uses in areas unsuitable for replanting.

Free prior and informed consent and socio economic inclusion

  • Cargill continues to lead the industry in smallholder inclusion into our palm oil production. We believe that we have gone beyond industry standards and government requirements in Indonesia for smallholder inclusion, as it has been a priority for us: we were the first plantation to have our independent smallholders RSPO certified in Indonesia, and we are funding an innovative program in Malaysia with a goal of RSPO certification of an independent mill and independent smallholders in Malaysia.
  • We continue to support and implement RSPO P&C 6, and will work with parties to resolve complaints and conflicts through an open, transparent and consultative process.
  • We respect the rights of indigenous and local communities to give or withhold their Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) to the utilization of lands to which they hold legal, communal or customary rights.
  • We support and will engage in the multi-stakeholder review of FPIC as jointly announced by the RSPO and the Forest Peoples Programme.

We are firmly committed to the RSPO and the additional principles outlined above, and will work to ensure that the palm oil we produce, trade and process are in line with these principles. In addition, we will file regular progress reports on implementation of plans to meet these principles.

To implement these policies, we will need buy-in from multiple stakeholders: communities to value and protect High Carbon Stock (HCS) land, governments to implement policies to enable HCS forest conservation and industry players to adopt similar policies. We also understand the need to review the effectiveness of policies and implementation practice. We will continue to analyze the implementation process and engage with stakeholders in a constant review and improvement process. As new information and knowledge comes to light, Cargill will adjust and improve policies in ways that are consistent with our goals of protecting forests, peat lands, local communities and human rights.