PepsiCo and Walmart join forces to invest in farmers
PepsiCo and Walmart have launched a seven-year collaboration, pursuing $120 million worth of investments to support US and Canadian farmers.
Embarking on a seven-year collaboration, PepsiCo and Walmart are putting $120 million worth of investments into supporting US and Canadian farmers to improve soil health and water quality.
Both companies have said they through establishing and scaling financial, agronomic and social programmes, the collaboration aims to enable and accelerate the adoption of regenerative agriculture practices on more than two million acres of farmland. It also aims to deliver approximately four million metric tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions and removals by 2030.
“From my perspective, embracing regenerative agriculture is essential. It’s good for farmers, not only because it’s beneficial to the environment and our food quality, but also for the profitability of our businesses,” said Jeff Huffman, Owner & Operator of Island Farms LLC in Maxwell, Neb.
“If you use less fertiliser and you grow a bigger crop, or if you use less water and can still grow the same size of crop, it strengthens your farm in a way that benefits the bottom line and our environment for generations to come.”
PepsiCo and Walmart have said that their businesses are dependent on farmers growing the ingredients used to make the products their consumers enjoy. They have also highlighted that, with respective supply chains across North America that involve a large volume of critical crops including potatoes, oats, corn, wheat, soybean and rice, “sustainability will look different from commodity to commodity, region to region, and even farm to farm”.
According to the companies, the collaboration “offers a voluntary, flexible approach to regenerative agriculture that gives farmers a seat at the table, recognises the diversity of agriculture and that one size does not fit all”.
“Successful sustainability starts and ends with trust. At PepsiCo, we work very hard to earn the trust of the farmer so they understand that we are investing in their legacy and they can hand their farm down to the next generation,” said Jim Andrew, Chief Sustainability Officer, PepsiCo.
“Farmers know their business better than anyone else, and what we hear from them is that for regenerative agriculture to make business sense, three things need to happen. They need economic support, social and cultural support, and agronomic support. This strategic collaboration with Walmart will advance our shared goal to have farmers’ backs as they transform farming in a way that benefits the planet and people.”
Speaking on Walmart’s stance, Jane Ewing, Senior Vice President for sustainability at Walmart, said: “At Walmart, our sustainability strategy is built to make the everyday choice the sustainable choice for our customers. This collaboration with PepsiCo is a great example of how we are prioritizing the expansion of regenerative agricultural practices among farmers across North America so that we can continue to make quality products affordable and accessible for customers.
“This collaboration aims to help elevate farmer livelihoods, engage them on how to more sustainably manage soil health, increase yields and create a model that others can mimic across other product categories, including encouraging additional investments in regenerative agriculture by other brands.”
Both companies have explained that they have a shared focus on supporting farming communities while improving soil and water health, as well as lowering carbon emissions.
“This effort is a new model for PepsiCo, marking our first, large-scale strategic collaboration focused on sustainable agriculture with a retail partner,” said Steven Williams, Chief Executive Officer, PepsiCo Foods North America.
“Farmers are critical to our business, and many of the brands our consumers know and love rely on ingredients that we source straight from the farm. By joining forces with Walmart, we’ll be empowering farmers through education, upfront investment in outcomes, peer coaching, and cost-sharing – and hopefully inspiring others to join us,” concluded Williams.