USA – Cargill has expanded its sustainably sourced range with new coatings and fillings made with Rainforest Alliance Certified coconut oil sourced through a mass balance model.

According to Cargill, the new range was developed in response to consumers’ growing demands for sustainably sourced ingredients.

Through the Mass balance model, the company sources a volume of coconut oil from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms equivalent to the volume used in these products to help protect forests and ensure sustainable livelihoods.

This is in turn geared towards improving the living standards of smallholder coconut farmers and their families in the Philippines and Indonesia.

“The demand from consumers for sustainably sourced ingredients is well established,” said Inge Demeyere, Managing Director of Cargill’s chocolate activities in Europe.

“Cargill’s cocoa and chocolate business is already a leader in implementing standards for cocoa sustainability supporting farmers and their communities through training and expertise with the Cargill Cocoa Promise – so the move to offering coatings and fillings using sustainably sourced coconut oil was a good next step.”

Cargill says its cocoa and chocolate business is the first to apply the Rainforest Alliance Certified mass balance program for coconut oil in coatings and fillings.

The sustainable coconut oil is used to replace conventional coconut oil in ice cream, bakery and confectionery applications without compromising on taste or quality.

Its broad food knowledge and direct involvement in various agricultural supply chains means it is in a unique position to source coconut grown on Rainforest Alliance Certified farms that are required to meet comprehensive criteria for sustainable agriculture.

This is part of the efforts by the company to address the challenges facing the coconut supply chain by pioneering sustainability standards for coconut.

The first phase of the joint program running through 2011 to 2015 boasts of increasing 15% in incomes of about 300 coconut producers on Rainforest Alliance Certified farms in the Philippines.

Cargill and their partners have also set further targets to train approximately 3,300 smallholder farmers and get at least 825 farmers to produce coconuts in the Philippines and Indonesia.

The joint efforts targets to increase farmer net incomes by 5-10 percent by the end of 2019.

“By providing our customers with supply chain integrity and certified ingredients via products such as our coatings and fillings including coconut oil sourced from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms on a mass balance basis, they can position their products to appeal to the growing number of ethically aware consumers,” said Demeyere.