NEW YORK, NEW YORK, U.S. — At the United Nations’ Climate Summit in Manhattan, New York, U.S., on Sept. 23 Cargill said it will join dozens of other companies, governments and civil society groups from around the world in supporting the New York Declaration on Forests.

The declaration is unprecedented in its scope. The endorsers pledge to do their part in slowing, halting, and reversing global forest loss, while enhancing food security for all.

“We want to do our very best to be the trusted supplier of sustainable agricultural goods,” said Cargill’s Chief Executive Officer Dave MacLennan during an appearance with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other leaders. “We are proud of our track record tackling deforestation. Today, I am here to say that we are going to do more.”

With their capacity for storing and absorbing greenhouse gas emissions, primary forests play a critical role in climate change adaptation and mitigation. They also preserve biodiversity and ensure the livelihoods of more than one billion people.
Cargill has a long track record in tackling deforestation issues, mainly in its soy and palm oil supply chains, the company said.
“We understand that this sort of commitment cannot be limited to just select commodities or supply chains,” said MacLennan. “That’s why Cargill will take practical measures to protect forests across our agricultural supply chains around the world.”

MacLennan will also announce Cargill’s plan to make its palm oil supply chains in Indonesia and Malaysia fully sustainable.

Recently, the company has carried out advanced scientific field work to identify and preserve valuable tracts of primary forests at its PT Hindoli plantation in South Sumatra, Indonesia. In both countries, Cargill is advancing efforts to make palm oil supply chains traceable. The company has set a goal of arriving at 100% sustainable palm oil in the next few years.

Additionally, Cargill will sign the Indonesia Palm Oil Pledge at the U.N. summit, further strengthening the sustainability commitments in its recently launched new palm oil policy. Indonesia’s president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is expected to oversee the signing.

Building on its broad experience in Indonesia, Malaysia and the soy business in Brazil, Cargill will now extend measures to tackle deforestation to other areas.

“We know we can do it,” said MacLennan. “Our stakeholders demand it. And it is the right thing to do.”