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PepsiCo partners with 3 ag groups on crop, water programs
Mar. 26, 2023 5:31 pm
1.5 million acres in Iowa to be part of $216M agreement
PepsiCo has announced a $216 million multiyear agreement with three farm organizations — Practical Farmers of Iowa, the nine-state Soil and Water Outcomes Fund, and the Illinois Corn Growers Association — to drive adoption of “regenerative agriculture” practices across the United States.
The partnerships are expected to accelerate regenerative practices on more than 3 million acres — half of them in Iowa — and deliver approximately 3 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emission reductions and removals by 2030, the New York-based company stated in a news release.
Based on the program’s progress to date, it’s expected to deliver more than 500,000 regenerative acres by the end of this year, the company stated.
Regenerative agriculture aims to reduce the amount of water and fertilizer used in crop production and improve soil and water quality and the diversity in crops planted.
"As the climate crisis continues to escalate, the threat to our food system increases as well," Jim Andrew, PepsiCo’s chief sustainability officer, said in a statement. "It's critically important to partner, for the long term, with organizations that have earned the trust of farmers as they make the transition to adopt climate-smart agriculture practices.
“We intend to be shoulder-to-shoulder with farmers as they work to make soil healthier, sequester carbon, improve watershed health and biodiversity, and improve their livelihoods."
PepsiCo’s partnership with the Ames-based Practical Farmers of Iowa, a nonprofit with 6,000 members, is expected to impact 1.5 million acres, the company said.
Practical Farmers of Iowa has “known for years that a supply chain that encourages farmers to grow only a couple of crops is not sustainable — it's not diverse or resilient enough for our changing world," said Sally Worley, the nonprofit’s executive director.
"The PFI model is proven — when we plug farmers into our powerful network and connect them with a peer network, educational resources, funding and technical support, they're able to build more resilient farms. … (We) look forward to working together to create a more diversified and resilient agriculture."
PepsiCo, the largest food and beverage company in North America and the second largest globally, owns the Quaker plant in Cedar Rapids, the world’s largest cereal mill.
A resilient food system is essential to its business, it stated in the news release. It intends to drive adoption of regenerative agriculture practices across 7 million acres — approximately the size of PepsiCo's agricultural footprint — by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2040.