Apr 28, 2021Frito-Lay, Ruffles parent company, PepsiCo, announces sustainable ag strategy
PepsiCo — Frito-Lay’s parent company — has announced an aggressive Positive Agriculture strategy to combat climate change. It will focus 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,” said PepsiCo chairman and CEO Ramon Laguarta through a statement.
With the Positive Agriculture strategy’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. (PepsiCo brands.)
“Working together, we can reduce our collective carbon footprint, feed a rapidly growing population, and provide meaningful economic opportunities for more people,” said 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 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.
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.
Another area of focus is 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.
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.