Cargill according to the NGO "Worst Company in the World"

Updated on July 12, 2019, 13:38

"The worst company in the world" – from the point of view of the environmental organization "Mighty Earth", applies to the American group Cargill. Never heard of it? So, this should go to many consumers in Germany. However, local supermarkets and well-known brands sell giant agricultural products, which would be responsible for child labor and massive environmental pollution.

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In the eyes of the non-governmental organization "Mighty Earth", the Cargill Farm Group is "the worst company in the world". "We know it's a bold statement," environmentalists write early in their detailed report on the US company.

He says: "But with regard to the world's biggest problems – environmental degradation, air and water pollution, global warming, displacement of indigenous peoples, labor Children and poverty in the world – Cargill is not only on the planet last place of those who fight against it, but drives the problems to an extent that puts all competitors in the shadows.

Cargill is not missing consumers

If you think "who?", You are certainly not alone. But even though many German consumers can not do anything with this name, they have almost certainly already bought products containing Cargill components.

The company, which claims to have 155,000 employees in 70 countries, is involved in just about everything used in food production:

  • Cargill is the world's largest producer of ground beef and hamburger patties
  • Cargill cultivates and markets grains and oilseeds and transforms raw materials into vegetable oils, for example
  • Cargill is a leading supplier of animal feed and food additives.
  • Cargill produces ethyl and consumer alcohol, cocoa, chocolate, malt, starch to thicken and stabilize, sweeteners, lecithins and proteins
  • Cargill manufactures chemicals and additives for the cosmetics industry – and much more

McDonald's is one of the big customers of the company and Burger King also supplies Cargill meat. Several German supermarket chains (including Aldi and Edeka) work with Cargill, as well as companies whose products are in the food aisles of this country, such as Nestlé, Danone and Arla.

Child labor, clearing the rainforest, unhealthy meat

Mighty Earth ecologists have been studying Cargill's activities for many years in his own words and have also compiled the results of research done by authorities and other organizations. Your judgment is devastating. Here is a selection:

  • In South America, Cargill has left large tracts of tropical rainforest for soybean cultivation. The target set in 2014 to ensure the entire supply chain that no rainforest will be cleared for the manufacture of its products by 2020 will not be maintained , according to Mighty Earth.
  • Many Indians in Brazil have lost their habitat by clearing the rainforest to create soybean plantations. For others, health has suffered: cancer and other diseases caused by pesticides and herbicides have increased. Similarly, the number of miscarriages and disabilities in newborns.
  • The group reportedly bought cocoa from plantations in Cote d'Ivoire, where children had to work up to 14 hours a day, poorly paid, malnourished and abused. The children were reportedly kidnapped by Mali in Cote d'Ivoire. The International Fund for Labor Rights has taken legal action on its behalf against Cargill.
  • In Colombia, the company allegedly acquired 52,000 hectares of land illegally, with the help of 36 subsidiaries created solely for this purpose.
  • Several times Cargill sold contaminated meat: in 2001, the company had to recall 254,000 burger patties because the E. coli bacteria had been found. Due to salmonella, the company had to remove 2.8 million pounds of minced meat in 2002. The US Department of Health (CDC) has attributed to meat consumption one death, 17 hospitalizations and 47 other diseases.
  • Cargill is one of the biggest polluters in the US food industry in terms of pollutants such as lead, asbestos or mercury.
  • The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a US options regulator, has fined the company $ 10 million in 2017. The reason: Cargill had misjudged its trading volume up to 90% in order to 39, save tax.

"Mighty Earth" points out that she had originally submitted the report for several months in front of the public in order to give Cargill the opportunity to make improvements. But nothing happened except empty promises. Therefore, the organization decided to publish.

Cargill may have more power to protect the climate, water, food security, public health and human rights than any other company in its history, write the authors – or destroy any that.

Sources used:

  • Internet presence of Cargill Germany
  • "Mighty-Eart" report: "Cargill: The worst company in the world"



In the current ranking of the 500 largest family businesses in the world, the Germans are the second largest group. The dominance of American companies remains uninterrupted.

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