Increasing Competition for Natural Resources
Feeding a growing population by sourcing more sustainably
According to World Wildlife Fund, we would need the equivalent capacity of 1.6 Earths to continue to provide the natural resources and ecological services we use today. With the global population set to reach nine billion by 2050, pressure on natural resources will only intensify.
But what does this mean for our business? And for the farmers who grow our cocoa? As the global population grows, and as we feel the increasing impact of climate change, natural resources will become more scarce. Competition for resources - such as food, water, energy and agricultural land – is only likely to get more intense.
Ensuring crop security
To ensure food security in the face of this population growth, we must make sure that the right crops are grown in the most productive places. Food must move from places of abundance to places of scarcity. Today, about 20% of food crosses borders and that percentage will need to increase in the decades ahead.
There is a risk that cocoa farmers may turn to less resource intensive crops if they become more financially attractive. Experience tells us that farmers in Indonesia, for example, often perceive cocoa as a risky crop. After 20 years of poor soil and plant management, they are struggling to invest in replanting and efficient pest and disease control, with many switching to other crops such as palm or rice. This puts pressure on the stability of our cocoa sourcing. So taking measures to ensure cocoa remains a crop of choice is essential to the long-term viability of our business.
We believe that agriculture can and will meet the rising demand for resources, and we know our farmers are resilient entrepreneurs who are increasingly doing more with less. We partner with cocoa farmers to share solutions to increase productivity. By promoting good agricultural practices and enabling access to technology for our cocoa farmers, we can help them to protect the environment and deliver more output from fewer resources. This will not only help to secure their livelihoods and strengthen communities, but also to help secure cocoa sourcing for our business in a less certain future.
Supporting our goals
Our work to protect natural resources supports our Cargill Cocoa Promise goal of protecting the environment.