Across Cargill's locations in 70 countries, the company and its employees are committed to positively impacting the communities where they live and work. This year, with a pandemic and natural disasters globally, Cargill intensified its focus on boosting economies, improving livelihoods and making a difference to individuals, families, farmers and small businesses around the world.
In the fiscal year 2020, Cargill provided $115 million in total charitable contributions, hosted trainings for 860,000 farmers in sustainable agricultural and business practices to improve their earnings potential and provided more than 39 million meals to global and local food bank partners.
"As the world faces extraordinary challenges – from climate change to food insecurity – delivering on Cargill's purpose to nourish the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way is more critical than ever before," said Michelle Grogg, vice president of corporate responsibility at Cargill. "We collaborate with strategic partners across the globe to bring this purpose to life by empowering farmers, protecting the planet and nourishing people and communities."
Empowering farming communities and energizing the next generation of food and ag leaders
- The National FFA Organization and Cargill continued their 60-year commitment to inspire and educate future leaders of the food and agriculture industry. Over the last year, the partnership reached 29,500 students and 500 teachers.
- In 2019, Cargill and CARE announced a new phase of collaboration aligned to CARE's She Feeds the World initiative. This phase aims to improve education, nutrition, water access, sanitation and economic support for 2 million people across Central America, Africa and Asia. The program strengthens women's skills and confidence in sustainable agriculture, financial inclusion, market engagement, gender equality and food and nutrition – while also engaging men to support greater equality. In the first six months of the three-year program, 502 small producers and microentrepreneurs across Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua saw a gross income improvement of $540,212.
- Cargill and Heifer International expanded Hatching Hope into Mexico, helping women farmers improve their livelihoods via poultry farming. The program connects Mexican women smallholder farmers with private sector buyers, creating market access and income opportunities. Hatching Hope has reached 206 Mexican smallholder female farmers and their families. This builds off the original Hatching Hope program in India, which has improved earnings for 24,000 smallholder female farmers since June 2019.
- In Vietnam, Cargill has built a total of 96 schools across the country, 9 of those during the company's past fiscal year. These schools positively impact and bring education opportunities to 14,000 students annually.
- In partnership with the Global FoodBanking Network, Cargill provided 14,640,750 meals across 16 countries.
- Feeding America and Cargill supported the creation of a new USDA clean room at the Houston Food Bank that, once in place, will deliver 3 million more pounds of protein annually to families in need. Cargill's other contributions to Feeding America helped provide more than 1 million meals across the U.S.
- In Canada, Cargill worked with Food Banks Canada to provide 554,772 meals.
- In Central America, Cargill worked with World Central Kitchen to train school cooks in 40 schools across Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, and Costa Rica on how to improve the safety, sanitization, and nutritional value of the food they prepare for more than 15,000 students. This initiative also significantly reduced food waste.
- The Cargill Foundation, contributed more than $10 million to over 50 local nonprofits and schools in its headquarters state, Minnesota, to provide support for low-income children of color. Targeted investments in childhood nutrition, STEM education and college and career readiness brought to life the company's goal to advance racial equity.
- Cargill and Save the Children partnered in Thailand to promote positive nutritional practices and physical activity among children, adolescents and communities through school-based programs. The program is running across 50 schools and impacted 3,5000 children. Cargill and Save the Children also launched programs in Indonesia, Cote d'Ivoire and the Philippines.
"Thanks to Cargill's support of The Global FoodBanking Network, food banks in 44 countries served 1.4 billion meals to families facing hunger. Unfortunately, the number of those suffering from food insecurity are steadily on the rise," said Lisa Moon, President & CEO, The Global FoodBanking Network. "Due to the devastating impacts of COVID-19, demand for food relief has skyrocketed in the countries we serve. Our partnership with Cargill is now more important than ever, since early March this collaboration has enabled food banks in our network to reach to more than 21 million people facing hunger."
Supporting those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic
In addition to continuing its long term strategic corporate responsibility work, Cargill has worked with nonprofit and nongovernmental organization partners worldwide to address food security, health and safety needs, agriculture and industry challenges and employee support due to the spread of COVID-19.
- To address industry challenges and support customers and their employees, Cargill partnered with the National Cattlemen's Foundation and the Canadian Cattleman's Foundation, the American Farmland Trust's Farmer Relief Fund, the National Restaurant Association Foundation Employee Relief Fund and the China Animal Health and Food Safety Alliance.
- Cargill opened the kitchen at its corporate office center in Wayzata, Minn. to cook meals for the nonprofit partnership, Minnesota Central Kitchen. The additional kitchen space provided employment for laid-off food service workers and 5,000 meals each week for Minnesotans.
- Along with monetary contributions, Cargill has donated nearly 3 million pounds of products to food shelves and hunger relief efforts, including 239 tons of chicken, sausage, and eggs to local food banks across Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Colombia; 1,000 metric tons of animal feed in Mexico to research centers, universities, farmers and Hatching Hope participants; 56 tons of oils, mayonnaises and sauces in Brazil; 300,000 packages of eggs in the Philippines; 60,000 liters of disinfecting alcohol to the health sector in the Netherlands; 58,000 liters of oil in France; and 500,000 pounds of beef and turkey to Feeding America Food Banks in Virginia, Nebraska and Texas.
- Additionally, the company pledged 16 million meals, impacting over 150,000 families across 16 cities in India.
Protecting the land and regenerating our soils
- Through its BeefUp Sustainability initiative, Cargill teamed up with Burger King restaurants, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Northern Great Plains ranchers to launch a three-year grasslands restoration program. Through reseeding, the program is converting nearly 8,000 acres of marginal cropland across Montana and South Dakota to ecologically diverse grasslands. The program is projected to save the carbon equivalent of driving nearly 70 million miles in an average passenger vehicle.
- As part of Cargill's collaboration with the Soil Health Institute to assess the economic benefits of soil health practices, over 80 farmers across eight U.S. states were interviewed on their adoption of these practices. The majority of the farmers cited increased yield, reduced fertilizer use, increased crop resiliency, better field access and reduced runoff as key benefits to their farming businesses.
- In Mexico, Cargill has been working with Bimbo and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center to help corn farmers adopt sustainable agriculture practices, saving over 1 billion liters of water since 2018. And in Iowa, Cargill partnered with the Iowa Soybean Association and Quantified Ventures to create the Soil and Water Outcomes Fund, a pay-for-performance model that supports farmers, communities and the environment. In the first year, we enrolled 9,400 acres and aim to scale the program up to 100,000 acres next year.
"At Cargill, our commitment to the communities where our employees live and work has been a core value of our company for over 150 years. Through these partnerships and programs, we are able to put our values into practice – to reach higher, do the right thing and put people first," said Grogg.
Visit https://www.cargill.com/about/community-engagement to learn more about Cargill's work with global and local partners to build vibrant communities.