Cargill’s response to Oxfam’s “Smallholders at Risk” and “Divide and Purchase” reports

April 23, 2014

Black River Asset Management, a wholly owned, independently managed subsidiary of Cargill, has made significant investments in Colombia that are delivering direct and positive benefits to the country, its people and their domestic food security.

These investments were criticized in an Oxfam report, “Divide and Purchase,” published September 27, 2013, and again in “Smallholders at Risk,” published April 23, 2014.

We strongly refute the assertion in the reports that the investments violated the law or the spirit of the law. All of the actions of Cargill subsidiary Black River Asset Management were aboveboard and fully within the laws of Colombia, and no smallholder farmers were displaced.

The Oxfam reports highlight a fundamental difference in approach between Cargill and Oxfam to responsible agricultural development in Colombia. The country, and the Vichada region in particular, have great agricultural potential but a long history of underinvestment. The land is there, but it is not suitable for growing crops on any scale without significant investment to correct the soils, prepare the land and build the necessary infrastructure.

Black River Asset Management has delivered on this promise – bringing tangible benefits to the local community and helping to reduce Colombia’s historic reliance on food imports.

Despite numerous discussions between Cargill and Oxfam, the reports are not a balanced reflection of the situation.