22 April 2021
More support for growers from food company
FOOD and drink company PepsiCo, which buys more than 290,000 metric tons of potatoes annually from more than 100 British farmers in the UK, has announced new commitments to improve its agricultural footprint in the run-up to 2030.
PepsiCo’s Walkers brand in the UK recently introduced new ‘circular potatoes’ technology that uses waste potato peelings to manufacture low-carbon, nutrient-rich fertiliser. Use of this fertiliser is expected to reduce Walkers’ carbon emissions from growing potatoes by 70% and will be trialled with UK farmers in 2021 and across Lay’s potato crops in Europe from 2022.
Working in collaboration with leading UK academics and around 100 farmers, PepsiCo has met its goal of reducing its carbon footprint and water usage in water-stressed areas by 50%.
The company has also been using its iCrop technology with farmers to capture data across 48,000 hectares of potato production in 16 markets in Europe. The company tracks more than 1 million crop data points and shares this with its farmers to help them understand more about crop performance and the correlation between soil type, weather, irrigation and water usage.
The company has now announced that it aims to spread the adoption of regenerative agriculture practices across 7 million acres (approximately equal to PepsiCo’s entire agricultural footprint) which it estimates will eliminate at least three million tons of greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the decade.
It will also sustainably source 100% of its key ingredients including potatoes, and aim to improve the livelihoods of more than 250,000 people in its agricultural supply chain and communities.
Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo Europe Silviu Popovici, said: “Our crops need to be resilient to climate change and grown so they positively impact the planet. We will do that by focusing on collaboration, acceleration and transformation of farming practices. We need to collaborate with stakeholders, including farmers and our ingredient suppliers and we need to accelerate regenerative practices at scale, so they become the norm for farmers. Finally, it’s time for a digital revolution on farms, making data as critical as the tractor in order to grow crops more sustainably.”