In a big to ensure long-term sustainability in the red seaweed supply chain, Cargill has launched a new sustainability promise.
The Red Seaweed Promise has been designed to address key sustainability challenges for the harvesting and cultivation of red seaweed.
It will also aim to enhance producer livelihoods, support local communities and conserve the marine environment, Cargill said.
Red seaweed is the raw material needed to produce carrageenan, a texturiser used in various applications such as dairy, confectionery and personal care products.
The program also answers food industry and consumers’ needs for more sustainable food ingredients, with a commitment to source 60% sustainable red seaweed by 2025.
“’Red seaweed production is critical to the prosperity of approximately one million producers and their communities,’’ said Sebastien Jan, Cargill seaweed strategic sourcing project manager.
“Today, these producers face multiple challenges, from climate change and extreme weather events to inefficient farming and harvesting practices, which have a significant impact on the quality of red seaweed.
“The Red Seaweed Promise supports producer’s prosperity by providing the training, coaching and tools producers need to adopt environmental and safe production best practices while committing to sustainable marine and coastal ecosystems.”
Proforest, a non-profit group offering consultancy services in sustainable sourcing of natural resources, supported Cargill in the definition of a credible industry standard evaluation tool and conducted verifications in the regions where the company sources red seaweed.
Results are used to set region-specific continuous improvement plans, focusing efforts on four priority areas: empowering seaweed producers, improving production and harvest practices, supporting sourcing communities and strengthening partnerships.
“To ensure we are following international sustainability priorities, the program supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals” said James Ede, sustainability manager Cargill.
“The Red Seaweed Promise supports our customers’ sustainability commitments and provides assurance to consumers who are increasingly seeking sustainably sourced products.”