Nestlé begins funding regenerative agricultural practices

VEVEY, SWITZERLAND РNestl̩ SA plans to invest around $ 1.3 billion over the next five years to help its farmers and suppliers switch to the use of regenerative farming practices.

The world’s largest food company said its efforts will focus primarily on three initiatives. First, Nestlé will use its network of research and development staff and agronomists to develop more environmentally friendly crops and production practices. Examples may include higher yielding varieties of coffee and cocoa with lower environmental impact and evaluating solutions to reduce emissions in the dairy supply chain. Nestlé also said it will provide training and help producers exchange information and best practices that can be adapted locally.

Admitting that the transition to regenerative farming practices comes with risks and costs, Nestlé also said it will support farmers by co-investing with them, facilitating loans or helping secure loans for necessary equipment. Finally, Nestlé is committed to paying premiums for goods produced using regenerative agricultural practices.

“This means rewarding farmers not only for the quantity and quality of ingredients, but also for the benefits they bring to the environment through soil protection, water management and carbon sequestration”, the company said.

Agriculture accounts for nearly two-thirds of Nestlé’s total greenhouse gas emissions, with dairy and livestock making up about half, according to the company. Management hopes its initiatives will help the company meet its goal of halving its emissions by 2030 and achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

“Through our long-standing partnerships with farming communities around the world, we want to increase our support for farming practices that are good for the environment and for people,” said Mark Schneider, CEO. “In the spirit of enabling a just transition, it is vital that we support farmers around the world who bear the risks and costs associated with the transition to regenerative agriculture. “

Nestlé’s announcement comes a day after PepsiCo Inc., Purchase, NY, announced a number of sustainability commitments designed to help the company meet its sustainability goals. Specifically, PepsiCo said it plans to apply regenerative agriculture practices to a land mass equal to the company’s agricultural footprint, which is approximately 7 million acres.

Nestlé and PepsiCo are not the only major food processors focusing on the development of regenerative agricultural practices. General Mills Inc., Minneapolis, has set a goal of advancing sustainable farming practices on one million acres of farmland by 2030. Unilever PLC, London, has pledged to introduce an agricultural code regenerative for all suppliers and to work with partners to manufacture its product biodegradable formulations by 2030.

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