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European Development Days 2016: Delivering multiple SDGs through the Cargill Cocoa Promise

November 22, 2016

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure all people enjoy peace and prosperity. For companies in the food and beverage industry, they offer a solid business strategy towards greater supply chain sustainability.

In June 2016, Cargill attended the European Commission’s EU Development Day (EDD16), which brought together over 6,000 people from the development community to share experiences, discuss the UN Sustainable Development Goals and explore solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.

Delivering multiple SDGs through the Cargill Cocoa Promise
At Cargill, we approach sustainability as a holistic issue – recognising the complex interactions between social, environmental and economic issues. Our cocoa sustainability strategy concentrates on empowering business-savvy cocoa producers and promoting farm development. Our cocoa sustainability strategy concentrates on empowering business-savvy cocoa producers and promoting farm development at the same time as tackling social problems in local communities. As a result, we are delivering outcomes under multiple SDGs:

SDG #1 - End poverty in all its forms everywhere

SDG #2 - End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture

SDG #4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

SDG #5 - Achieve gender equality, and empower all women and girls

SDG #8 - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work

SDG #12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

SDG #17 -  Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development


Five key lessons we have learnt along the way
To promote shared learning at EUDD16, we outlined five key lessons we have learnt while delivering the Cargill Cocoa Promise:

Lesson 1:  Building capacity of farmer organisations on the ground is critical:
These organisations are extraordinary multipliers for improving farmer productivity and value chain efficiency. On top of the 181 partnerships already supported, Cargill is empowering farmers to establish more cooperatives and improve the professionalism of existing ones. Having launched the Coop Academy in Cameroon, we plan to reach 900 leaders from 227 organisations and to support 50,000 smallholder farmers.

Lesson 2: A bottom-up approach to training is the route to success.
Across the globe more than 100,000 individual farmers have received training, and in Côte d’Ivoire alone, over 1,300 coaches have since been trained, spreading knowledge and skills for greater farm development. Using farmers as coaches is empowering; they are the force behind local productivity improvements as they know local conditions, and can adapt training to specific farmer and farm needs more easily.

Lesson 3: Access to resources such as fertilisers and crop protection and finance products – combined with training in how to use them – increases results.
The Cargill Cocoa Promise is doing this through the Yiri+ and Cacao Allyie Fertiliser Initiative (CAFI). 2015 saw a 23% average yield improvement under Yiri+, and 56% under CAFI.

Lesson 4: The causes of child labor and gender inequality are numerous and complex.
Meaningful change requires a holistic approach that empowers the vulnerable and raises community awareness to tackle the underlying causes. Through the Cargill Cocoa Promise, 97% of children reached in Ghanaian communities now stay in school for at least 5 years after intervention and there has been a 4.7% increase in primary school enrolment over the past two years.

Around the UN General Assembly in September, we reflected on the need to tackle child labor and forced labor in the cocoa supply chain, and how our new Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation System will strengthen efforts. You can read the view of Taco Terheijden, Director of Cocoa Sustainability at Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate, here.

Lesson 5: Partnerships enable Cargill to tackle the complicated social problems that hinder productivity.
More than 4,000 people have attended training programs to address nutrition and malnutrition through our partnership with CARE. 85% of farmers have increased their production by nearly 10%, which can be attributed in part to improved nutrition. Other key partnerships are with TechnoServe, the International Cocoa Initiative and ANADER.

As we have increased our focus on monitoring the outcomes of our work on the ground, perhaps the greatest lesson of all is that, in order to make real progress towards tackling the SDGs, we must combine these lessons and our resources to respond in a holistic way. Many stakeholders – both local and global – have a role to play, and by working together we can achieve our goals.

To find out more about the learnings and progress we are making on cocoa sustainability through the Cargill Cocoa Promise, and how it can help you deliver your sustainability goals and commitments, take a look at our 2015 progress report or contact your account manager.