Cargill partners with Biocosta, Solidaridad for palm oil sustainability programme in Colombia


Cargill has collaborated with trading company Biocosta and non-profit organisation Solidaridad to launch palm oil smallholder sustainability programme in Colombia.

The two-year programme has been designed to improve regional agricultural practices and livelihoods of local farmers by providing training and technical assistance to more than 480 palm farmers.

Claimed to be Cargill’s first programme in Latin America, this initiative will primarily focus on responsible palm oil production, which is one of the three main crops cultivated in Colombia after coffee and bananas.

Solidaridad and Biocosta will support Cargill in promoting the adoption of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil’s principles and criteria.

“Our goal is to stimulate inclusion of Colombian farmers in the global palm oil market, boosting their livelihoods and establishing best practices in sustainable agriculture.”

Solidaridad Colombia palm oil programme manager Maria Goretti Esquivel said: “Solidaridad is pioneering sustainable approaches in the region and, through this engagement with Cargill and Biocosta, will ensure new economic opportunities for smallholders and the implementation of sustainable practices.

“The participation of international buyers, like Cargill, in this kind of initiative is key to fostering sustainability in the palm oil supply chain and advocating for changes in the sector.”

The new programme will enable farmers to improve productivity and profitability, as well as gain market access with sustainable practices and eco-label certification.

Cargill Edible Oils Solutions global trading director Robert Horster said: “This programme supports Cargill’s commitment to building a 100% transparent, traceable and sustainable palm supply chain by 2020.

“Our goal is to stimulate inclusion of Colombian farmers in the global palm oil market, boosting their livelihoods and establishing best practices in sustainable agriculture.”

Parallel to this programme, Cargill, Biocosta and Solidaridad will also undertake a social and environmental impact study to assess high-conservation value land and deforestation risks to completely integrate palm oil farmers into the sustainable supply chains.


Image: Palm oil is an important crop cultivated in Colombia. Photo: courtesy of Cargill.