Breaking: Cargill CEO Announces Major Action on Forests

Big forest news out of New York City. Here is the Forest Heroes official statement on Cargill’s announcement. 

Forest Heroes praises Cargill for extending deforestation-free principles across commodities

NEW YORK, NY – On a day of momentous declarations to slow deforestation and spur climate action, one company’s pledge stood out among the pack. At the United Nations Climate Summit on Tuesday, Cargill CEO David MacLennan stood beside Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to announce that Cargill would extend the principles of its recent “No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation” palm oil policy to other commodities around the world, such as soy, sugar, beef, and cocoa. 

CargillLogo“Recently, we announced a new policy, committing to zero deforestation in the palm oil trade,” MacLennan said. “Now, we understand that this sort of commitment cannot be limited to just select commodities or supply chains. That’s why I am proud to announce today that Cargill will take practical measures to protect forests across our agricultural supply chains around the world.”

Forest Heroes praised Cargill’s move, and urged the company to take essential follow-up steps.

“Following its recent No-Deforestation policy for palm oil, Cargill’s commitment to cut deforestation across all commodities has the potential to be a transformative move in the fight against climate change,” said Glenn Hurowitz, Chairman of Forest Heroes, a global campaign to break the link between deforestation and agricultural production. “Cargill understands that it doesn’t matter if a forest is threatened by palm oil, sugar, or soy, it’s still threatened. The key now will be for Cargill to formalize and implement a comprehensive policy over the next three months that sets an ambitious deadline to implement this commitment.” 

Forest Heroes has worked closely with Cargill and our allies in recent months to secure their commitments on sustainable palm oil and today’s historic announcement. Other leading agribusinesses, such as Wilmar International—the world’s largest trader of palm oil—are already implementing No-Deforestation policies across all global commodity supply chains, including soy and sugar.

“Cargill helped pioneer the success of the No Deforestation approach through its participation in the Brazilian moratorium on deforestation for soy in the Amazon. As the future of the soy moratorium hangs in the balance, it will be essential for Cargill and its peers to continue this essential policy in order to realize the company’s forest protection commitments. While implementation is the key, Cargill is doing the right thing by announcing it will take steps to protect forests wherever they are threatened.” 

Today’s announcement comes as more than 150 countries, businesses, and civil society organizations announced their support for the New York Declaration that sets a goal of dramatically reducing global deforestation. 

“Today’s announcement would not have happened without the herculean efforts of Ban Ki-moon to ensure that this summit was about action, not talk,” said Hurowitz. “He is no ordinary diplomat, and he is getting extraordinary results.”   

Cargill is one of the world’s largest agribusiness companies, with $134.9 billion in annual sales and more than 143,000 employees in 67 countries. It is the largest privately held company in the United States. Their commitment to apply deforestation-free principles across their commodity supply chains around the world is remarkable, given their leading positions in soy, sugar, cotton, cocoa, beef, and many other products. In soy alone, it handles 30 million metric tons a year, more than 10% of global supply, with similar or greater market share in sugar, and several other commodities. Their supply chain covers millions of hectares of land in Latin America, Asia, Africa, and North America, meaning that their commitment has the potential to dramatically cut deforestation and protect communities around the world.                    

“With Wilmar and Cargill moving to protect forest across a range of different crops, it’s time for Bunge and ADM to join them in creating this second green revolution that increases agricultural production while protecting the world’s forests,” said Hurowitz. “The economic future belongs to the companies that are at the forefront of protecting forests and fighting climate change.”

On September 23, 2014

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