Supporting Cotton Growing Communities
Improving agricultural practices, expanding market access and increasing incomes
Cargill is now one of the largest traders of Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) cotton globally and working with a number of implementing partners, BCI helps farmers adopt agricultural practices that reduce environmental impact and lift their incomes through higher yields, reduced costs and access to the global market. This global initiative now includes the U.S., the world’s third-largest cotton producing country and its cotton quality is preferred by many textile companies. In response to demand from its retail members, the Better Cotton Initiative launched a pilot project with U.S. farmers in 2014, and Cargill has since been the largest purchaser of this supply by far.
Encouraging responsible labor practices
We do not accept the use of illegal, abusive or forced labor in any of our operations or supply chains around the world, and we abide by all of the laws in the countries where we operate. Cotton provides a source of income for hundreds of millions of people in countries around the globe. We believe it is essential that all members of the supply chain work together with governments, local communities and NGOs to find practical solutions to labor issues while fostering responsible economic development. We are committed to doing our part to ensure fair labor practices across the supply chains we touch, and we support the work being done by governments and organizations like the Association of Cotton Merchants in Europe and the International Labor Organization to address these issues.
We provide support to cotton-growing communities to improve the livelihoods, education and health of farmers and their families. As farmer incomes rise, they are better able to secure education, healthcare and other resources.
Cargill works with fellow Competitive African Cotton Initiative (COMPACI) member Ivoire Coton (an affiliate of Industrial Promotion Services - West Africa) and the Aga Khan Foundation USA in Côte d’Ivoire to support cotton-growing communities. Since 2014, Cargill has joined Ivoire Coton in providing $250,000 in funding to improve the learning environments of more than 4,000 children at primary schools in northwest Côte d’Ivoire. Implemented by Ivoire Coton and the Aga Khan Foundation, our collaboration is improving school infrastructure, building capacity for teachers and staff, and enabling access to better school meals.
Cargill also invests in the communities in our main operating locations and over the last fiscal year, Cargill’s cotton business has provided over $200,000 to support cotton communities around the world. In the U.S., the cotton team is actively supporting mentorship and diversity initiatives in the local community in Memphis. This includes mentoring, onsite work training and scholarships for local schools.