Cargill has outlined its plan to eliminate deforestation from its cocoa supply chain.
The programme dubbed, 'Protect Our Planet' involves a 100 per cent cocoa bean traceability with a commitment of "no further conversion" of any forest land in Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire for cocoa production.
The plan is also expected to extend the company's forest efforts to five origin countries (Brazil, Indonesia, Cameroon Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire) as well as the indirect cocoa supply chain, towards securing the future livelihoods and resilience of smallholder cocoa farmers, using GPS and polygon farm mapping systems globally, to identify the exact location of the farms to accurately assess farm sizes.
Systems are also being put in place to introduce traceability technology to cooperatives and farmers such as bar-coding of cocoa bags to trace beans back to individual farms.
The Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate president Harold Poelma indicated that 100 per cent traceability from farm to factory in Ghana had been achieved using these technologies adding that "the company is hoping to achieve the same in Cote d'Ivoire in 2020, where over 80,000 of the 120,000 farms in the direct supply chain has been mapped".
He said Cargill was integrating environmental protection projects into its Cocoa Promise programme which includes growing more cocoa on less land, agro forestry, and conservation, and supplier engagement within indirect cocoa and chocolate ingredient supply chain aimed at raising standards for third-party suppliers to address common challenges.
The President said the company last year consigned the Cocoa & Forests Initiative (CFI) alongside thirty-four other chocolate and cocoa companies, the World Cocoa Foundation, and the IDH Sustainable Trade Initiative to achieve a fair and secure cocoa supply chain achieve stronger legal enforcement mechanisms and report sharing on acceptable trade practices.
"There is considerable urgency to address climate and deforestation challenges in countries from which we source cocoa, we have made important first steps but there is more to be done and we believe that this action plan is how we will reach our goal," he added.
Mr Poelma said Cargill's 155,000 employees across 70 countries work relentlessly to achieve the purpose of nourishing the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way as it connects farmers with markets, customers with ingredients, and people and animals with the food they need to thrive using new technologies.