As threats from climate change mount, the company’s Positive Agriculture strategy focuses on regenerative farming practices and empowering farming communities.
“Any plan to tackle the urgent challenges facing the global food system must address agriculture, the source of nourishment for billions and a key lever to address climate change and inequality,” says PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Ramon Laguarta.
With its ambitious new Positive Agriculture strategy, PepsiCo is doing exactly that. The agenda’s far-reaching goals aim to impact 7 million acres of farmland and reduce an estimated 3 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the decade. PepsiCo also aims to improve the livelihoods of more than 250,000 people in its agricultural supply chain and sustainably source 100% of the company’s key ingredients by 2030. Taking action in the next decade is crucial for the development of a more sustainable, resilient and inclusive food system.
“Working together, we can reduce our collective carbon footprint, feed a rapidly growing population, and provide meaningful economic opportunities for more people,” says Laguarta.
Creating a more sustainable agriculture system is key to PepsiCo’s business because the company is an agricultural one at its core — sourcing crops across 60 countries and supporting over 100,000 agricultural jobs. In PepsiCo’s well-established Sustainable Farming Program, the company works with farmers across the globe to implement and scale a range of farming practices that will have meaningful impact.
One big part of Positive Agriculture is extending regenerative farming practices — a set of techniques that improve and restore ecosystems with a focus on building soil health and fertility, reducing carbon emissions, enhancing watershed management, increasing biodiversity and improving farmer livelihoods. Partnering with farmers, PepsiCo will spread the adoption of these practices across 7 million acres, approximately equal to the company’s entire agricultural footprint. The growers behind products like Lay’s potato chips, Quaker oats and Tropicana orange juice will be driving forces.
Working together, we can reduce our collective carbon footprint, feed a rapidly growing population, and provide meaningful economic opportunities for more people.
Much of this work is already underway: Through its global network of Demonstration Farms, PepsiCo works with farmers to adopt regenerative practices that save water and improve soil health, among other benefits. This approach also provides an opportunity for farmers to learn local best practices from each other in a peer-to-peer setting.
Investment in innovative agriculture solutions is already paying off: Potato peels left over from making Walkers crisps will be transformed into low-carbon fertilizer that potato growers across the U.K. can use in their fields.
Positive Agriculture also means bettering the lives of people in the agricultural supply chain. Bolstering underserved populations is essential to making the entire food system stronger, and PepsiCo’s goal is to improve the livelihoods of more than 250,000 people in agricultural communities, with a major focus on economically empowering women. Partnerships with the U.S. Agency for International Development, Inter-American Development Bank and CARE’s She Feeds the World program are providing support for female farmers in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. To support diversity in its North American supply chain, PepsiCo has joined the National Black Growers Council, serving on its Advisory Board and as a sustaining member.
Another area of focus: sustainably sourcing 100% of key ingredients. This includes not only direct-sourced crops like potatoes, whole corn, oats and oranges, but also core crops from third parties such as vegetable oils and grains. PepsiCo has strengthened its Global Policy on Sustainable Palm Oil, which includes the company’s strict commitments to avoiding deforestation, development on peat and exploitation of the rights of indigenous peoples, workers and local communities.
“Today, we're accelerating our Positive Agriculture agenda, because we know we have to do even more to create truly systemic change,” says Jim Andrew, PepsiCo Chief Sustainability Officer. “By focusing on regenerative agriculture practices at the local level to build soil health, we can build a stronger foundation for our products and help make the entire food system more sustainable.”
For more information on our Positive Agriculture goals, click here.