Cargill releases sustainable palm oil report

Cargill releases its 2019 report on sustainable palm oil, highlighting the company’s achievements in 2019 and previewing its 2025 strategy.

Cargill reported the company is on track to eliminate deforestation in all commercial palm concessions in its third-party supply chain by the end of 2020. In its annual palm sustainability report, Cargill highlighted its achievements towards its 2020 traceability and sustainability targets, while also previewing its 2025 strategy. The report outlined the company’s ongoing work and commitment with 22,000 smallholder palm farmers across more than 10 countries to deliver sustainable palm oil to its customers worldwide.

John Hartmann, global sustainability lead, palm oil operations, Cargill, commented: “Cargill is proud to have a role in driving transformational change across the palm oil sector. This progress is only made possible through the tremendous efforts of farmer producers, palm plantation companies, our customers, industry peers and our team focused on achieving a common vision of palm oil sustainability.”

Progress in 2019

  • Cargill is on track to eliminate deforestation in all commercial palm concessions in our third-party supply chain by the end of 2020.
  • In Q4 2019, 93% of the company’s palm oil volume globally was covered by “No Deforestation, No Peat and No Exploitation” (NDPE) policies, and 58% of direct traders and refiners had put in place a credible NDPE implementation plan to cover their supply chains.
  • Cargill has established a clear and transparent process for managing and resolving NDPE grievances. To provide transparency, the company discloses grievances that fall outside the scope of its procedure.
  • The company also continues to work towards achieving traceability of palm supplies back to the plantation in high-risk landscapes by the end of 2020.

The report also outlined Cargill’s progress across priority focus areas including traceability, grievances, supplier engagement, landscape projects, smallholders and Cargill plantations.

Looking ahead: 2020 strategy
Sustainable supply chains are an ongoing commitment across Cargill’s supply chains, and requires “consistent, focused efforts” to make sustained progress. As Cargill looks to the next five years, sustainability efforts will expand to:

  • Ensure compliance: Work with direct suppliers to verify their compliance with Cargill’s sustainable palm policy, and continue to support those who have not yet reached this milestone to be accountable to their action plans. Cargill will work with them to better facilitate engagement of their supply chains to drive transformation, particularly at the fresh-cut bunch dealer and smallholder levels, through tools and training. Suppliers will be transferred to the grievance process if they are not making sufficient progress against milestones in their action plans.
  • Address leakage: Aim to address the “leakage market” by working with suspended suppliers where possible to re-engagement plans to prevent growth of unsustainable practices and drive progress on sustainable sourcing through collaborations in Indonesia, Malaysia, India and China.
  • Support smallholders: Pilot and scale production-protection models with smallholders and communities to prevent deforestation outside concessions, and ensure improvement of livelihoods.
  • Collaborate with peers: Pre-competitively collaborate with industry peers through ongoing and new landscape programmes, with a focus on smallholder productivity, conservation, land rights and mill supply shed mapping.
  • Protect human rights: Partner with labour experts to review and improve Cargill’s human rights due diligence, monitoring and remediation. Working with industry peers through the Decent Rural Living Initiative, Cargill will also look to improve the livelihoods and conditions of workers and their families.
  • Align with governments: Initiate dialogues with governments to raise awareness around activities, align with district or state level action plans and support strengthening of national certifications and enforcement of regulations to create an enabling environment for better practices.
  • Improve transparency: Cargill will increase transparency and progress against NDPE commitments through an innovative, interactive technology platform that provide greater insight into the palm supply chain.

Globally, Cargill operates and manages 17 refineries, nine palm oil mills, three kernel crushing plants, and five palm plantations. The company’s plantations work with nearly 22,000 smallholder farmers. More than 95% of Cargill’s palm oil volume comes from third parties.