COFCO International publishes its 2021 Sustainability Report

COFCO International today publishes its 2021 Sustainability Report, Transforming Agriculture in a Changing World, disclosing its progress on the social and environmental priorities of its sustainability strategy, Meeting Tomorrow’s Demand. In particular, the report covers the company’s efforts to act on the issues where it stands to make the greatest difference – partnering towards sustainable agriculture, promoting human rights, ensuring the safety of people in its business and supply chains, and improving lives in local communities.

In the wake of the global pandemic, COFCO International continued to apply its significant supply chain and logistical expertise to maintaining food security and supplying key markets, overcoming disruption while consistently building resilience and advancing its sustainability journey.

Importantly, the company expanded its focus on protecting the climate and biodiversity and conserving natural resources, including through decisive business and industry commitments. It has committed to achieve a deforestation and conversion-free soy supply chain by 2030 in sensitive regions of Latin America, through farm-level traceability and monitoring of all purchases. And it has joined a COP 26 industry pledge to reduce supply chain carbon emissions in line with efforts to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees, with a major focus on eliminating deforestation.

The company’s 2021 Sustainability Report explores its progress and achievements while recognising opportunities for improvement and highlighting the action still needed to achieve sustainable agriculture and transform the global food system. It also explores the importance of collaboration in raising standards and building a greater understanding of issues from deforestation to global water risks and carbon emissions from coffee farming.

Progress is reported against the five core areas of its sustainability strategy: connecting supply and demand, taking care of its people, managing its environmental impact, building strong communities and upholding standards.

2021 highlights include:

  • Through the Soft Commodities Forum, all direct soy suppliers traced within 61 municipalities in the Cerrado.
  • 100% of direct soy suppliers in Matopiba assessed for social and environmental risks.
  • $3.9M revenue generated from 670,000+ decarbonisation credits (CBios) from RenovaBio programme.
  • Developed a Diversity Committee in Brazil where the company employs over 7,000 staff, offering training to over 70% of its managerial positions.
  • 78% increase in EHS training for contractors.
  • 5.4% decrease on water intensity of its industrial operations; definitive action to address the findings of its global water risk assessment.
  • 5.5% reduction in absolute GHG emissions including through 3.4% decrease in the energy intensity of its industrial operations.
  • Participation in the shipping industry’s Getting to Zero Coalition for cleaner fuels and the Sea Cargo Charter for standardised emissions reporting.
  • 36,000+ people benefited from its community programmes, reaching 20% increase compared to 2020.
  • All traceability targets met under its original $2.3 billion sustainability-linked loan, and a new $700 million loan to further advance its sustainable soy and palm oil sourcing activities.

“As we emerge from the pandemic and navigate its impact on global health and economics, we remain steadfast in our commitment to feed the world responsibly and help transform the global food system,” says David Dong, CEO of COFCO International. “Now, more than ever, we recognise the importance of a healthy climate and ecosystem for a thriving agricultural sector. We have leveraged our flexibility and innovative capacity to build resilience in uncertain times, while prioritising the safety of our people and the continuity of our supply chains.”

“In 2021, we expanded the focus and ambition of sustainability goals and increasingly looked beyond our business to act on issues such as carbon reduction within our supply chains. Our own Deforestation and Conversion-Free commitment will see us making further progress towards sustainable commodities, as we continue to take a strategic, risk-based approach to protecting nature and the environment and upholding human rights.”

“I would like to thank all our employees for their continued support, courage and determination in 2021,” Mr. Dong concludes. “I am optimistic for the future, and look forward to working with our industry to build momentum and accelerate the transformation of our food and agricultural system.”

The COFCO International 2021 Sustainability Report has been prepared according to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards and is available on the website: It also provides a summary of the company’s contribution towards specific targets of the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, and outlines how its sustainability efforts support the International Finance Corporation’s Environmental and Social Performance Standards.

 2021 Sustainability Report 2021 Sustainability Report(11.56Mb PDF)

About COFCO International

With 11,500 people in 37 countries, COFCO International is the overseas agriculture business platform for COFCO Corporation, China's largest food and agriculture company. COFCO International is focused on being a leader in the global grains, oilseeds, sugar, coffee and cotton supply chains, with assets across the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific. The company trades with over 50 nations, while providing farmers unique direct access to the growing Chinese market. In 2021, COFCO International traded over 133 million tonnes of commodities, achieving revenues of $48 billion. The company is accelerating its growth to create a world-class integrated global agriculture supply chain, anchored in China and competing globally.