Cargill launches new programme working with smallholder producers of red seaweed

Red seaweed extracts are used as a texturizing ingredient in many food and personal care products, and today most supplies originate from smallholders farming red seaweed around the coasts of Southeast Asia and East Africa.

These smallholders and their communities are often vulnerable to shocks and stresses as a result of climate change. They have limited capacity to adapt to changing environmental and market conditions and there is some risk that their farming practices could have negative impacts on the marine and coastal environment. What’s more, complex supply chains mean that it is often challenging to trace the ingredient back to its source.

In an effort to reduce these risks, Cargill has launched their Red Seaweed Promise. This work, supported by SHARP partner Proforest, will focus on empowering seaweed producers, improving production & harvesting practices, community support and partnerships.

“Proforest has been pleased to work at the cutting edge with Cargill and to support their endeavours to promote sustainability in the red seaweed industry. This is a good example of innovation in responsible sourcing, where we have been able to use our expertise in responsible sourcing of mainstream agricultural commodities like palm oil and sugar, and our experience in engaging and supporting smallholder producers across a range of other ingredients”

Tony Hill, Director of Proforest’s Smallholder Support Programme.

The SHARP secretariat looks forward to seeing the progress of this new programme and applauds Cargill on their support of smallholder livelihoods.

To find out more about this new programme, read the news item from Proforest or visit the Cargill website.