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Cargill on Envoyé Spécial’s sustainable cocoa report

January 17, 2019

Envoyé Spécial (France 2) broadcast a report on cocoa production on 10 January 2019, in which Cargill was featured. This article offers more information on Cargill’s commitment to eliminating child labor and deforestation from our cocoa supply chain.

We recognize there is considerable urgency to address climate and deforestation challenges. This means engaging in programs to stop deforestation in the countries from which we source cocoa. We have made important first steps but there is more to be done and we believe that that our Protect our Planet action plan is how we will reach our goal.

For over a decade, Cargill has been committed through the Cocoa Promise to the development of a sustainable cocoa supply chain and the future livelihoods and resilience of our smallholder farmers. In collaboration with other key stakeholders, we are addressing some of the persistent issues in the sector such as deforestation, child labor and other socio economic and environmental issues. We have committed to ending child labor in all its forms from our supply chain by 2025 and to eliminating deforestation from our supply chain by 2030.

Tackling child labor
Our experience has shown that investing in the wellbeing of farming families – especially women and children – stabilizes communities and enables them to prosper. This in turn increases the stability and security of the entire cocoa and chocolate supply chain.

Cargill values the health and safety of all employees, and we prohibit the use of child labor in our operations. We are working diligently to eliminate the potential for illegal, abusive or forced child labor in our supply chains. In West Africa, we have dedicated teams to implement our child labor policies and we work with partners including farmer organizations, NGOs, government agencies, and other stakeholders to address the issue.

Educating rural families about the long-term benefits of schooling and raising awareness of the harm that hazardous work causes to children’s physical and mental wellbeing is just the first step. Many children working on cocoa plantations do so within their families. Often, rural households rely on children’s farm work to save on both labor and education costs.

You can read more about our work to eliminate child labor on 

Combatting deforestation

Forests are vital for life on earth: 12% of greenhouse gas emissions result from tropical deforestation. And we believe that forests and agriculture can co-exist. Many people are 100% dependent on agriculture for their livelihood. This is particularly true for the cocoa farmers in West Africa. 

We are working towards 100% traceability in our Cargill Cocoa Promise supply chain by the end of 2019. At present, 64% of our direct supply chain has been geo-localized, which means 77,000 out of 120,000 producers.

In order to ensure that we are not receiving deliveries from deforested areas, around a year ago we began implementing a digital Coop Management System (CMS) in Cote d’Ivoire that allows us to trace a bag of cocoa from the farm to the next point in the supply chain. The cocoa bags get a traceability/barcode component from farm to cooperative level. Simply scanning the barcode tells the coop what cocoa field the beans come from. Today 38% of cooperatives in the our direct supply chain already have this ‘first mile’ traceability. 

We need both tools, the GPS mapping and CMS, to check that only beans from farms that do not encroach into the forest are entering our physical supply chain. Cooperatives are added to the CMS system in waves, with those at highest risk of deforestation being added first.

For more information on our work to eliminate deforestation: