Cargill presents a new forest policy, but Greenpeace wants more

Sep 22, 2015 | written by:

On the occasion of the first anniversary of the New York Declaration on Forests (NYDF), Cargill released a new Policy on Forests. Backed by forest protection action plans for Cargill’s priority commodity supply chains, this policy sets a comprehensive approach for the company in its efforts to prevent forest loss.

Deforestation is a global issue, but a local challenge. We’re committed to working with farmers, government, business, advocacy organizations and consumers to help craft and implement solutions tailored to the diverse landscapes we seek to protect", said Paul Conway, Cargill’s vice chairman. "Our Policy on Forests is one of the ways we are working to feed a growing population while also sustaining vital forest ecosystems for generations to come".

By the signing of the Declaration of New York last year, Cargill pledged to halve deforestation by 2020 and to eliminate it completely in 2030. To date, the new strategic plans outlining specific measures that will help the company achieve its goal, for example:

  • employing a multi-stakeholder approach and collaborate with them - consumers, farmers, suppliers, and government organizations - to achieve the purposes of sustainability;
  • continuing efforts to ensure a sustainable palm oil supply chain in Indonesia and Malaysia;
  • continuing to grow a sustainable soy program in Paraguay by mapping its total footprint in the country;
  • supporting an extension of the Brazilian soy moratorium indefinitely until a viable alternative approach is reached while moving forward with efforts to help implement the Brazilian Forest Code;
  • helping farmers in Zambia adopt best practices in agriculture, where Cargill directly sources cotton and maize from more than 70,000 farmers.


According to Matt Daggett, Global Forests Campaign Leader at Greenpeace, thinks that it won’t be sufficient. “Last September, Cargill’s CEO, Dave MacLennan signed the New York Declaration on Forests and committed to ‘eliminating deforestation from the production of agricultural commodities’by no later than 2020. Today’s new policy failed to uphold this commitment by establishing a weak 2030 deadline for most commodities, giving the company another ten years to profit from forest destruction”.

“If Cargill is serious about ending its role in deforestation, the company should do two things. First, it must ensure that Brazil’s soy moratorium is renewed, and then, over time, extended to cover more South American rainforests and other biomes that are threatened by the expansion of soy. Second, Cargill must work with other traders to introduce a similar initiative to protect Indonesia’s forests from palm oil and other commodities. Only then will Cargill begin to achieve the ambitious goals it has set for itself.”

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