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Find out how Cargill continues to drive cocoa sector transformation in our latest sustainability report

June 29, 2022

The understanding of sustainability topics in the cocoa and chocolate sector continues to rapidly evolve. That’s the clear message from everyone involved in the sector, from farmer organizations to NGOs to governments in both producing and consuming countries.

And so it is in that spirit that we publish Cargill’s latest cocoa sustainability report. It showcases how we continue to make sustainability central to our business and how we are partnering with organizations of all types to make steady progress toward our 2030 sustainability goals.

“As a company operating in today’s interconnected world, it’s our responsibility to create long-term value for all. Key events in 2021 underlined our commitment to sustainability,” said Harold Poelma, president of Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate. “More ambitious actions plans, by all actors, are needed to continue to effectively tackle the world’s most pressing sustainability challenges, especially in light of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Broad-based progress

In addition to the big-picture view of how sustainability definitions are evolving and the holistic approach of our theory of change, the report details key metrics for each of our company goals. We are proud our report is independently assured.

Some of the most important metrics and trends include:

Farmer livelihoods: All Cargill Cocoa Promise farmers again received training on good agricultural practices, and a range of social topics this year, with an additional 10,000 farmers receiving targeted one-on-one coaching aimed at helping them become entrepreneurs who manage their farms as businesses.

We also saw positive short-term trends for crop productivity among farmers in Cargill Cocoa Promise programs, benefiting their profitability. And we are working with partners on a longer-term approach to Farm Development Plans to help create a thriving cocoa sector.

Community Wellbeing: We implemented more than 2,500 community projects and more than 600 community actions plans, in 2021, with more attention paid to health, nutrition and gender equality. Additionally, more than 11,000 women participated from Village Savings and Loan Associations, a key vehicle for women’s economic empowerment in cocoa-growing communities.

Protect our Planet: In line with our objectives to build a deforestation-free supply chain and protect or restore forest landscapes, 70% of the farmers in our direct supply chain were GPS polygon mapped and assessed for deforestation risk, up from 64% last year.

We also provided more than 300,000 multi-purpose shade trees for on-farm planting as part of our agroforestry efforts. This brings our total to 1.2 million trees provided since 2017.

Consumer Confidence: With 100% of the cocoa in our direct supply chain traceable to the first point of purchase, we are continuing to build out our first-mile digital traceability system to cover half our current program. Meanwhile, 49% of all our cocoa volumes this year were third-party certified sustainable, which refers to certification standards such as Rainforest Alliance and Fair Trade.

And to make sure farmers are paid fast, and safely, we enrolled more than ever in mobile banking – more than 56,000. All this helps earn the trust of those who enjoy our cocoa and chocolate products around the world.

Transformation, Together: We are working with numerous partners to combine our strengths and find solutions, including more than 63 partnerships with NGOs, foundations, governments, financial institutions and more. This year, we added seven new partnerships with Lady Agri, The Starbucks Foundation, Agromap and more.

Responsible Business: Our cocoa and chocolate business is truly a global one, and we are committed to running it safely, responsibly and sustainably. Part of that is doing our part toward Cargill’s climate commitment.

We conducted an assessment to understand the carbon footprint of our cocoa and chocolate business. The assessment was validated by third-party Quantis, and it showed that cocoa from our direct sourcing network has a significantly smaller carbon footprint due to better farming practices and addressing land use change.

Data on topics like our carbon footprint, community wellbeing, and traceability are all available to customers on our CocoaWise™ Portal. Now in its second year, the platform lets us share a continuously updated view of our supply chain and our sustainability progress for the sector.

“We are proud to share the progress we are making to drive steady and meaningful change,” said Kate Clancy, global sustainability director for Cargill’s cocoa & chocolate business. “Our stakeholders are telling us to accelerate our progress, and we are leaning into that challenge, working with both farmers and their communities, and a range of partners across the globe to do just that.”