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Cargill Quantifies Supply Chain Risks

food harvestingCargill has a new assessment tool to help food and beverage customers identify and quantify risks and opportunities in its supply chains.

The tool provides the food ingredients company and its customers with data to evaluate sourcing issues that may negatively or positively impact their businesses and brands, such as labor practices, the environment and biodiversity. The tool assigns cost and revenue implications to those risks and opportunities identified in the assessment as having the highest likelihood of occurrence and highest business impact.

The new tool is essentially a decision tree, which takes into consideration such factors as labor conditions, resources efficiency, pollution, environmental impact, community health and impacts on cultural heritage, according to Food Navigator-USA.com.

Cargill says its approach facilitates collaboration and alignment across all partners in the supply chain to move quickly to address issues and opportunities. According to the company, sometimes sustainability investments struggle to gain traction because organizations fail to quantify a return on investment.

This assessment tool is the most recent example of Cargill’s focus on ways to improve its supply chains. In the last few years, Cargill has announced:

  • Its Cocoa Promise aimed at promoting sustainable cocoa production. The promise focuses on three areas: training farmers, supporting farming communities and investing in the long-term sustainable production of cocoa;
  • A pledge to supply its customers in Europe, United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand with palm oil certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil and/or originated from smallholder growers by 2015 (this excludes palm kernel oil products). This commitment will be extended to cover 100 percent of its palm oil products and all customers worldwide – including China and India – by 2020;
  • A partnership with The Nature Conservancy that helps Brazilian soybean farmers comply with the Brazilian Forest Code.

In a recent survey of Cargill’s food and beverage customers, 93 percent identified sustainability as one of the most critical issues of importance to their businesses. The most commonly cited focus areas were setting objectives and goals for sustainability and responsible sourcing.

To address the growing desire of companies to identify the sustainability of their supply chains, Ecodesk created a Global Supply Chain Innovator Program that uses Ecodesk’s automated platform to profile a company’s top 50 to 500 suppliers’ energy use, carbon emissions, waste and water consumption — without requiring suppliers to fill out any questionnaires.

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