PepsiCo announces 2030 goal to scale regenerative farming practices across 7 million acres

PepsiCo, Inc. is launching a new, impact-driven Positive Agriculture ambition with a goal to spread regenerative farming practices across 7 million acres, approximately equal to its entire agricultural footprint. 

The company estimates the effort will eliminate at least 3 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by the end of the decade. Additional 2030 goals within the agenda include improving the livelihoods of more than 250,000 people in its agricultural supply chain and sustainably sourcing 100% of its key ingredients.

“Any plan to tackle the urgent challenges facing the global food system must address agriculture, the source of nourishment for billions of people and a key lever to address climate change and inequality,” PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Ramon Laguarta says. “As one of the world’s leading food and beverage companies, a resilient food system is essential to our business, and with our scale we have an opportunity and responsibility to drive meaningful change. PepsiCo’s Positive Agriculture agenda prioritizes investment, innovation, and robust collaboration with our farming partners to deliver impact around the world. Working together, we can reduce our collective carbon footprint, feed a rapidly growing population, and provide meaningful economic opportunities for more people.”

PepsiCo’s Positive Agriculture agenda aims to source crops and ingredients in a way that accelerates regenerative agriculture and strengthens farming communities, with a focus on:

  • Spreading the adoption of regenerative farming practices across 7 million acres – approximately equal to 100% of the land used around the world to grow crops and ingredients for the company’s products. In the U.S., for example, PepsiCo has worked with farmers to plant cover crops on over 85,000 acres and has seen up to a 38% net reduction in on-farm greenhouse gas emissions, including soil carbon sequestration. Through efforts with industry-leading partners, the company will expand regenerative agriculture programs to more than 500,000 acres of U.S. farmland by the end of 2021. PepsiCo will also continue to grow its global network of Demonstration Farms, which enable peer-to-peer learning and in 2020 grew to more than 350 farms with more than 80% adopting regenerative farming practices.
      
  • Improving the livelihoods of more than 250,000 people in its agricultural supply chain and communities, including economically empowering women. PepsiCo will focus its work on the most vulnerable farming communities linked to its global value chain, including smallholder farmers and farmworkers, women, and minority farmers. The company will continue to advance this goal through diverse partnerships, including the U.S. Agency for International Development, Inter-American Development Bank, CARE, National FFA Organization, and the National Black Growers Council.
     
  • Sustainably sourcing 100% of key ingredients, expanding to include not only its direct-sourced crops (potatoes, whole corn, oats, and oranges), but also key crops from third parties, such as vegetable oils and grains. PepsiCo sources crops across 60 countries and supports over 100,000 jobs in the agricultural supply chain.

“Through our Sustainable Farming Program and ongoing work with tens of thousands of farmers, we’ve seen firsthand the ability to drive solutions within our agricultural communities, resulting in nature-based outcomes," Jim Andrew, chief sustainability officer, PepsiCo says. “Today, we’re accelerating our Positive Agriculture agenda because we know we have to do even more to create truly systemic change. By focusing on regenerative agriculture practices at the local level to improve soil health, we can build a stronger foundation for our products and help make the entire food system more sustainable.”

PepsiCo advocates for the establishment of industry-wide regenerative agriculture standards and measurement. In the absence of such standards, the company will measure progress towards its Positive Agriculture goals by tracking acres and people engaged in the initiative and, over time, the impact toward five key outcomes, including: building soil health and fertility; sequestering carbon and reducing emissions; enhancing watershed health; increasing biodiversity; and improving farmer livelihoods. PepsiCo is engaged with leading organizations like the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to develop a method for setting science-based targets for water that consider the benefits of regenerative and resilient farming systems and practices on water quality and water quantity.

“Working across the supply chain is necessary if we are to transform the food system, reduce carbon emissions, support healthy watersheds, restore biodiversity, and improve livelihoods,” Sheila Bonini, senior vice president of Private Sector Engagement at World Wildlife Fund says. “It’s encouraging that PepsiCo is announcing an approach to its agricultural supply chains that can be positive for both nature and people, and WWF looks forward to partnering with PepsiCo on an ambitious and scaled regenerative agriculture agenda.”

Leveraging innovation, including digital technology, and collaboration is central to PepsiCo’s approach to catalyzing systemic change. Together with the World Economic Forum and others, PepsiCo recently launched the concept of Food Innovation Hubs to develop local food systems that are inclusive, efficient, sustainable, and nutritious.

The Positive Agriculture agenda is another step in the company’s PepsiCo Positive journey and follows PepsiCo’s recent announcement to double its science-based climate goal, targeting a reduction of absolute greenhouse gas emissions across its value chain by more than 40% by 2030, as well as pledging to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040.

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