Cargill's stevia sustainability program has been benchmarked at Silver Level by SAI Platform’s Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) 3.0, becoming the first stevia producer to have its entire grower network achieve this distinction.
By engaging in this benchmarking process, Cargill offers its food and beverage customers further assurance of the integrity of its stevia sourcing program.
The industry-recognized FSA benchmarking system is designed to help producers assess their sustainability practices and support manufacturers in sourcing sustainably grown products. To achieve the Silver Level benchmark, Cargill’s comprehensive Stevia Sustainability Agricultural Standard was independently audited to assess practices across eleven sustainability topics, including labor conditions, water management, air quality and greenhouse gas emissions. The FSA Silver benchmark applies to Cargill’s lines of Truvia and ViaTech stevia leaf extracts.
“Earning a Silver Level Equivalency is regarded by many brands as a key measure for sustainable sourcing,” said James Ede, sustainability lead for Cargill’s sweeteners and starches business. “It’s a comprehensive process that ensures Cargill’s world class sustainability program and grower network benchmark to the rigorous SAI Platform FSA standard around sustainable production and ethical sourcing across our stevia supply chain.”
When the company first entered the stevia market more than a decade ago, stevia sustainability standards did not exist. That reality prompted Cargill to develop its Stevia Sustainability Agricultural Standard, assuring customers that its leaf-based stevia products meet the highest standards for quality and sustainability practices. More than a decade later, the company’s stevia standard remains the industry’s most comprehensive criteria, encompassing four key pillars:
- Agronomy: Managing land use through sustainable practices
- Environment: Enforcing chemical handling protocols
- Social: Protecting human rights, including no use of forced labor
- Economic: Preserving farmer livelihoods
Compliance is confirmed annually by third-party audits, which affirm that Cargill’s stringent standards are being followed.
“With this distinction, our entire stevia portfolio has now been validated and verified by independent third-parties as one of the most sustainable stevia programs in the world,” said Stuart Schulz, business process manager and manager of Cargill’s stevia leaf sustainability program. “Last year, we completed an independent third-party life cycle analysis on EverSweet, our stevia sweetener made via fermentation. Now the stevia agricultural standard we’ve had in place since 2013 has been validated by FSA. Taken together, these steps give our customers a level of confidence no other stevia supplier can offer.”