Cargill will contribute to the conservation and restoration efforts of the Dassioko classified forest, in the southeast of Ivory Coast. This is the subject of a memorandum of understanding signed on April 8, 2022 between the U.S. agribusiness company and the Ivorian Ministry of Water and Forests.
The Ivorian Ministry of Water and Forests and Cargill, an American company specializing in the supply of food ingredients and trading in raw materials, are committed to the conservation and restoration of the Dassioko classified forest in south-eastern Ivory Coast. According to the memorandum of understanding signed to this effect on April 8, 2022, the two parties will also ensure the promotion of sustainable development in the cultivation of cocoa near this forest.
Covering 12,540 hectares, the classified forest of Dassioko is a Ramsar site (wetland of international importance), threatened by human activity. The legislative texts protecting this forest by prohibiting hunting and clearing are not respected by the local populations. Camps are set up in the forest, encouraging logging, farming and poaching.
Cargill’s sustainability program
The memorandum of understanding signed between the Ivorian government and Cargill is part of a sustainability program aimed at the sustainable production of agricultural commodities. Due to recent trade legislation, especially in Europe, it is no longer possible for companies selling products in the European Union (EU) to source commodities grown in protected or classified forests such as Dassioko.
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In rolling out its sustainability program in Ivory Coast, Cargill also launched an initiative in March 2022, alongside two humanitarian organizations (Care and the Starbucks Foundation), to support the economic empowerment of women in cocoa-producing communities. The project will directly impact the lives of 2,500 participants (2,000 women) and indirectly reach 15,000 cocoa farmers in Cargill’s supply chain by September 2023.
Operating in 70 countries around the world, Cargill employs nearly 155,000 people. In 2014, the Minnesota-based company in the United States of America had sales of $134.9 billion.