WAYZATA, Minn. — A group of activists have accused Minnesota-based agribusiness giant Cargill of not acting to reduce deforestation and using child labor.
A report released Wednesday, June 14, called on the families behind privately-held Cargill to take action, saying the corporate executives at Cargill cannot be counted on to act.
Representatives of Stand.earth held a press conference in Wayzata, Minnesota, where Cargill is headquartered, to outline what it says is a lack of action on protecting Amazon rainforests and ending the use of child labor in cocoa production.
Their report “Grain of Truth” asserts that Cargill has not followed up on promises it made in 2014 to curb deforestation. It is asking the family that owns Cargill, the Cargill-MacMillan family, to act.
“We’re not asking for anything Cargill hasn’t already promised to do. We’re asking for the fulfillment of those promises,” said Todd Paglia, executive director of Stand.earth. “We believe the Cargill-MacMillans are decent people, we have no reason to believe otherwise. We believe they have delegated the management of their company to Cargill’s executives and trusted them to do the right thing, to uphold their commitments, and to tell the truth — none of those things has happened. We hope the Cargill’s and MacMillans will take control of the company that they own and provide the leadership that the world needs.”
The report says child labor in Africa has actually increased in recent years, not decreased.
Cargill did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Cargill lists a
on their website which says “Cargill is committed to transforming our agricultural supply chains to be free of deforestation by 2030 — and we have accelerated milestones to be deforestation-free in soy in the South American biomes of Amazon, Cerrado and Chaco, as well as in palm globally, by 2025.”
Forbes listed the Cargill-MacMillans as America’s fourth richest family in 2020, with about 90 family members that own 88% of the company.
There were three groups behind the report:
, an international nonprofit environmental organization;
, a global nonprofit sustainability group; and
an investigative journalism nonprofit organization based in Brazil.
Reach Agweek reporter Jeff Beach at email@example.com or call 701-451-5651.
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