WAYZATA, MINN. — Cargill shared its progress on the company’s Black Farmer Equity initiative

After one year, Cargill stated that several groups joined their program, including the National Black Growers Council, 100 Ranchers, Arkansas Land and Community Development Corp., Share Farm, Communities Unlimited, Tuskegee University’s Carver Integrative Sustainability Center and National Minority Supplier Development Council.

In 2021, supply chain programs launched to expand opportunities and access capital for farmers in the beef and cotton markets. The initiative will continue increasing the number of Black producers in these supply chains, while adding corn, yellow peas, poultry and soybeans each year.

“Programs like Cargill’s Black Farmer Equity Initiative provide new ways for Black producers to access markets and sell their livestock and crops. We’re looking for an open door where they have been closed in the past,” said Kimberly Ratcliff, a second-generation rancher and executive director of the 100 Ranchers Inc. “Cargill’s support of 100 Ranchers will help increase Black producers’ bottom line and improve their livelihoods by producing high-quality products.”

Cargill continues to recruit farmers to participate in the program with a specific look at Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina and Texas. 

The company added that Black farmers make up less than 2% of the 3.4 million farmers in the United States with a 90% decrease in Black farm ownership. 

“We are committed to helping dismantle racism that exists within the food and agriculture sector in the US. Our efforts include purposeful work within Cargill, but we also know we have an opportunity and responsibility to advance the industry, starting with the work we do every day with farmers and within key supply chains,” said Greg Jones, chief diversity officer at Cargill. “We listened to Black producers with our customers. We learned a lot about the barriers and history of broken trust. We know we can do better.”

Cargill also pledged to train 10 million farmers globally by 2030 and increase supplier diversity by spending $10 billion with small businesses and $1 billion with certified diverse-owned companies globally.