Levers of change: Cargill creates sustainable land use initiatives for farmers around the world
Arguably no one is more affected by climate change and biodiversity loss than those who make their living growing food. However, for most farmers, adopting the practices that promise to contribute the most to maintaining ecological balance represents major change, and changing the fundamental way any business is run poses financial risks.
According to The United States Census Bureau, the expected population increase of over 2 billion by 2050 means the world’s farmers will have to produce approximately 70% more food.
What’s being asked of farmers—whose production techniques were designed to deliver high yields—is to become even more productive, while at the same time assuming a leading role in addressing climate change.
Making change possible
Cargill believes that if we want systemic change in our food system, we have to take a farmer-centric approach to that change. That’s why Cargill is leading the industry with sustainable land use programs designed to actively improve the economics of farming while de-risking the transition to more sustainable farming practices.
Our recently launched North American regenerative agriculture initiative—the first of its kind from a major agricultural company—is a prime example of how Cargill is supporting agricultural change. Farmers are connected to Cargill’s customers, who are counting on agricultural supply chains to achieve their carbon reduction goals. Cargill pays these farmers for improved soil health and productive environmental outcomes, including carbon sequestration and the farmers who enroll in the program are guaranteed payment for verified sustainability outcomes.
Triple S Soy™
Another example of Cargill helping to increase farmer incomes is the Triple S (sustainability sourced and supplied) Soy Program in Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. Cargill connects their commercial customers who are seeking certified-sustainable soy to farmers whom they guarantee a premium price for growing these sustainably sourced and certified products.
Partnership with Soil Capital®
In France and Belgium, Cargill is partnering with agricultural advisory firm, Soil Capital to implement a carbon farm management system that encourages verified carbon sequestration. Farmers are shown how to draw up an economic and environmental balance sheet of their farm, which is then analyzed to prioritize actions that will improve the farm’s GHG impact and profitability.
1,000 Farmers Endless Prosperity
In Turkey, Cargill is increasing farmer yields by up to 26 percent with 1,000 Farmers Endless Prosperity program, which brings training, access to digital agricultural tools and consultancy services to benefit farmer profitability. In its second year, the program has already expanded its scope to reach 1,175 corn and sunflower farmers across 12 provinces.
Cargill Cocoa Promise™
Cargill’s commitment to farmers and communities in Brazil, Indonesia, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire and Cameroon enables them to achieve better incomes and living standards by growing cocoa sustainably. This program for sustainable cocoa sourcing uses digitization and cooperative management systems to put data in the farmers’ own hands, enabling them to manage and improve their cocoa business and ensuring a thriving and sustainable cocoa sector for generations to come.
RSVP (The Ranch Systems and Viability Planning network)
This initiative, led by the World Wildlife Fund with over $6 million from Cargill, the Walmart Foundation and McDonalds aims to make lasting improvements to the grasslands of America’s Northern Great Plains. Support for ranchers across the region—focusing on Montana, Nebraska and South Dakota—includes technical expertise, training and tools to help advance grazing practices that improve the health of the land.
A similar partnership between Cargill, A&W Canada and ALUS will engage ranchers in 20 communities across Canada to restore land.
Southern Plains Grassland Program
This partnership between Sysco, Cargill and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to help ranchers in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado is focused on a grant program that enables nonprofit conservation groups, ranching collaboratives/associations, and agencies at the state and local level to engage with ranchers at a scale not seen before in the region.