General Mills Vows To Combat Deforestation
Global foods manufacturer General Mills has announced that it is joining other leading companies to combat deforestation.
The company has signed the World Cocoa Foundation’s ‘Frameworks for Action’ agreement to end deforestation, protect national parks from illegal cocoa production and develop alternative livelihoods for affected smallholder farmers in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana. The actions are aligned with the Paris Climate Agreement.
Green Mills said that cocoa is one of its 10 priority ingredients, for which it has committed to 100-percent sustainably source by 2020. More than 70% of the cocoa General Mills buys is grown in West African countries including Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana.
The new framework was developed by the Ghanaian and Ivorian governments, along with the private sector — including farmers and farmers’ organisations — national and international civil society organisations and development partners.
It was announced at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) in Bonn, Germany on Thursday. Other notables that have committed to the agreement so far include companies such as Nestlé, Sainsbury’s, Mars Wrigley Confectionary and The Hershey Company.
The framework focuses on three themes: forest protection and restoration, sustainable production and farmers’ livelihoods as well as community engagement and social inclusion.
“Deforestation is a significant challenge, but by aligning and working together we can help put a stop to it and positively impact climate change by rehabilitating the land,” said John Church, chief supply chain officer for General Mills. “We also recognise there are systemic labour issues in the cocoa supply chain, and we understand it will take industry-wide collaboration to make improvements. Having the national and local governments, who are key to addressing the issues, at the table from the beginning is key.”
“Most of the deforestation in the cocoa sector in West Africa is a result of poor farmers trying to earn a living by going into protected areas to cut down trees to grow cocoa. This means that we must focus on community development, community empowerment, and making sure that farmers' livelihoods are taken in to account and respected,” said Richard Scobey, president of the World Cocoa Foundation.
The food manufacturer previously signed virtual 15-year power purchase agreement with Renewable Energy Systems (RES) for 100 megawatts of its Cactus Flats wind project in Texas. It also pledged that it will source its eggs from 100% cage-free chickens for all of its brands by 2025.
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Kevin Duggan. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.