ROTTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS, 17 June 2019 – Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) today published its 2018 Sustainability Report, highlighting the breadth and depth of actions to embed sustainable practices across its activities and engage with partners to do the same.
“I am pleased with the progress we are making and the outcomes we are achieving. By integrating our long-standing sustainability efforts with the company’s purpose of fair and sustainable value creation, we continue to break new ground and build positive momentum across the agricultural supply chain” commented Ian McIntosh, LDC’s Group CEO.
In an industry first, the company published its Soy Sustainability Policy in June 2018. It was shared with its major suppliers and is being built into all supplier contracts. The policy consolidates LDC’s existing actions and commitments, including as one of the founding signatories of the 2006 Soy Moratorium in Brazil. The initiative was described by The Nature Conservancy as “the first move by a major trader towards a zero conversion approach.”
LDC also innovated in a very different area, reporting the full carbon profile of its Freight activities for the first time. The move is part of its efforts to set a data-driven benchmark, as it seeks to charter a more energy-efficient fleet and to optimize vessel operations to reduce emissions and fuel consumption. Data showed a 5% year-on-year decrease in overall emissions from its freight activities.
At the same time, LDC fell short of its ambitious environmental targets, while still improving its environmental performance at a number of assets. This included energy and electricity consumption reductions in Brazil, solar power investments in Brazil and Kenya, recycling solid waste in Indonesia and improved wastewater management in the US. LDC remains on track to meet its 2022 targets, including new capital expenditure.
As world coffee prices continued to fall, LDC redoubled its efforts to support the largely smallholder farmer community that produces coffee beans and stem the exodus of farmers from coffee to other more lucrative activities. Working with partners, LDC agronomists trained thousands more smallholder coffee farmers during the year across Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Indonesia, and Vietnam, helping to improve their agricultural techniques and facilitate access to market. The training has demonstrably increased the productivity, incomes and sustainable practices of participants and, in some cases, incited farmers to return to coffee.
In LDC’s Juice business, the only one in which the company directly manages agricultural production at citrus groves in Brazil, the company hit its target of 80% Rainforest Alliance CertifiedTM farms (29 out of 38), with 100% certification expected in 2019.
“We are convinced that only by working together to find shared solutions to common global issues can we create a future that is sustainable and fair for all. Partnership among the myriad actors – governments, civil society, intermediaries, transporters, farmers, etc. – is the only path forward”, Ian McIntosh added.
The positive results from multi-stakeholder actions were confirmed in a very real way in November 2018, when the International Labour Organization (ILO) reported that child labor was no longer a concern in cotton farming in Uzbekistan. The announcement followed support from LDC and other members of the Association of Cotton Merchants in Europe (ACME) since 2010, for the ILO’s cooperation with the Uzbek government to eliminate child labor from cotton farming in the country. LDC is strongly committed to resolving sustainability challenges in agricultural supply chains, through policy application, training and cooperation, and – when all else fails – through the exclusion of suppliers from the value chain.
Looking ahead, LDC will break new ground again in 2019 by reinforcing its sustainability governance processes with the creation of two oversight committees, one on the Environment and the other on Human Rights. These will include members of LDC’s Senior Leadership Team and its Sustainability function, as well as acknowledged external experts to guide and challenge the company.
About Louis Dreyfus Company
Louis Dreyfus Company is a leading merchant and processor of agricultural goods. We leverage our global reach and extensive asset network to serve customers and consumers around the world, delivering the right products to the right location, at the right time – safely, responsibly and reliably. Our activities span the entire value chain from farm to fork, across a broad range of business lines (platforms). Since 1851 our portfolio has grown to include Oilseeds, Grains, Freight, Global Markets, Coffee, Cotton, Sugar, Rice, Juice and Dairy. We help feed and clothe some 500 million people every year by originating, processing and transporting approximately 80 million tons of products. Structured as a matrix organization of 6 geographical regions and 10 platforms, Louis Dreyfus Company is active in over 100 countries and employs approximately 18 000 people globally. For more information, visit www.ldc.com and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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