Part of that plan is its pledge to deforestation-free palm oil, a commitment the company first announced in July. It repeated that pledge at the United Nations Climate Summit in September in New York City. Specifically, Cargill pledged not to develop palm oil on peatland, not to exploit the rights of indigenous people and local communities, and to include smallholders.
At the U.N. Climate Summit, Cargill signed the Indonesian Palm Oil Pledge. Signers of the pledge committed to sustainable practices concerning palm oil. Cargill recently announced that it is on track to trace 80 percent of its palm oil in key markets back to the mills it came from, and that figure will reach 100 percent by December of next year, according to company estimates.
"Sustainability has long been part of our palm plantation culture, and it has resulted in a business that our employees are very proud of," Cargill CEO John Hartmann said in a statement. "We must account for impacts on the environment and local communities for the sake of future generations. That notion is shared by our smallholders. They, too, have achieved multiple global sustainability certifications, and today they are the pride and joy of their communities."
In July 2013, Cargill began working with Solidaridad and Wild Asia, two non-governmental organizations, to help independent mills and smallholders achieve RSPO certification in Malaysia. The goal is to help a pilot group of 34 farmers with 133 hectares of palm oil achieve certification -- and then increase the program to include 100 more farmers by the end of 2015.
After conducting the study, TFT recommended that high carbon stock areas be integrated with peatlands, high conservation value areas and areas of importance to local communities into a conservation and land use plan for PT STAL. TFT recommended that Cargill continue to complete high carbon stock assessments and engage local communities in future high carbon stock assessment processes.
Image credit: CIFOR
Gina-Marie is a freelance writer and journalist armed with a degree in journalism, and a passion for social justice, including the environment and sustainability. She writes for various websites, and has made the 75+ Environmentalists to Follow list by Mashable.com.