General Mills has committed to advance regenerative agriculture practices on 1 million acres of farmland by 2030.
The US company will partner with organic and conventional farmers, suppliers and farm advisors in key growing regions to achieve the goal.
Regenerative agriculture is a holistic method of farming, deploying practices designed to protect and enhance natural resources and farming communities. These practices focus on pulling carbon from the air and storing it in the soil, in addition to helping the land be more resilient to extreme weather events.
It is estimated that the global food system accounts for roughly one-third of greenhouse gas emissions and 70% of water consumption.
General Mills CEO Jeff Harmening said: “We have been feeding families for more than 150 years and we need a strong planet to enable us to feed families for the next 150 years.
“We recognise that our biggest opportunity to drive positive impact for the planet we all share lies within our own supply chain, and by being a catalyst to bring people together to drive broader adoption of regenerative agriculture practices.”
General Mills will partner with key suppliers to drive adoption across key ingredients, including oats, wheat, corn, dairy feed and sugar beets.
“Our first on-farm training and education academies will focus on North American growers where we source high-quality oats for Cheerios, Annie’s, Cascadian Farm, Nature Valley and Blue Buffalo,” said Jon Nudi, president of North America retail for General Mills.
The company is granting $650,000 to non-profit organization Kiss the Ground to support farmer training and coaching through Soil Health Academies, where growers will learn how to increase farm profitability, build resiliency into the land and decrease input costs using soil health practices.
Kiss the Ground executive director Lauren Tucker said: “Investing in soil health and regenerating our soils has numerous benefits, including water infiltration, reduced pest pressure, resilience to unpredictable weather, and reducing greenhouse gasses.
“We have an opportunity to not just sustain our natural resources, but to restore them for generations to come. We can only advance the adoption of these practices that benefit people and the planet if we partner with and support our farmers.”
The announcement builds on General Mills’ commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 28% by 2025. It is nearly halfway to that goal, with the emissions footprint down 13% in 2018 compared to 2010.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019