The ingredients firm said that in the next three years Cargill's European refined oils and grain and oilseed businesses would be able to meet all of Unilever's sustainable rapeseed oil needs. The global consumer products group uses rapeseed in products including margarines and mayonnaises.
"Unilever has a bold ambition: to double the size of its business while halving the environmental impact of its products,” said David Pendlington, Unilever procurement operations manager - sustainable sourcing. “In 2011 we increased the volume of sustainable sourced agricultural raw materials to 24% from 10% in 2010. This shows we are making good progress. However, to achieve our ambition, it is vital that we work in closer partnership with our strategic suppliers like Cargill.
"Today's announcement demonstrates the strength and commitment of our partnership Cargill is a strategic partner for our oils and foods ingredients. We recognize their leadership role in converting to sustainable oils."
Responsible supply chains
Juergen Keil, supply chain director, Cargill Refined Oils Europe, said: "Our partnership with Unilever is an example of both our companies' strong commitment to supporting responsible supply chains.
"We are combining our supply chain expertise and industry knowledge to provide customers with choices to meet their particular requirements. We are very pleased to partner with Unilever and see this as a big step forward towards sustainability in rapeseed oil and other oilseed crops."
As a result of their partnership on rapeseed oil, Cargill and Unilever have established a repeatable model that can be applied to drive sustainability within other oilseed crops in the future.
Unilever aims to source 100% of its agricultural raw materials sustainably by 2020.