US – American multinational food manufacturing company Kellogg has through its Origins program helped more than 440,000 farmers in 29 countries to adopt sustainable farming practices.

According to a statement from Kellogg’s, the program has helped communities restore agricultural ecosystems in regions where Kellogg sources by using nature-based systems to boost farm productivity.

In the Origins Spain project, 68 farmers managing over 12,000 acres are reported to partner with Kellogg and the Institute of Agrifood Research and Technology to address challenges with soil salinity and crop pests in rice.

The rice grown in Spain’s Valencia and Delta Del Ebro regions goes into Kellogg’s Special K cereal and other foods in Europe.

By 2018, farmers reported an average 15% increase in production and an average profitability increase of €285 per hectare (2.47 acres).

In Mexico, Kellogg says that its program has over 200 farmers currently producing yellow maize for its products.

Onboarding the farmers into the resiliency program has improved farm profitability by 36%, according to maker of Rice Crispies and Corn Flakes cereal brands.

“Our focus is on helping farmers implement meaningful solutions that deliver tangible benefits to people and planet,” said Amy Senter, chief sustainability officer for Battle Creek-based Kellogg.

“Farmers are stewards of the earth, and, by supporting their efforts, we can help make practices that restore ecosystems the norm.”

Meanwhile in the US, Kashi – a Kellogg subsidiary- has rolled out a program partnering with farmers growing wheat, corn, rice, sorghum, dates and almonds to help them transition to organic farming from conventional farming.

Kellogg says that through the program, Kashi has paid more than $4 million in premiums to US farmers and helped to convert 10,000 acres of farmland to organic.

Sustainability becomes key in food production

Sustainable farming has become a key component for food supply chains globally especially because of the impact of agriculture on the environment.

According to a study published in the MDPI journal, agricultural activities contribute 10%–14% of global anthropogenic GHG emissions, mostly from enteric fermentation (methane), application of synthetic fertilizers (nitrous oxide), and tillage (carbon dioxide).

To address this a number of companies from Olam, to Cargill and Nestle have made commitments to work with farmers to improve sustainability profile of their crops.

Nestle has for instance committed CHF 1.2 billion to spark regenerative agriculture across the company’s supply chain.

The Swiss food manufacturing giant is currently working with over 500 000 farmers and 150 000 suppliers to support them in implementing regenerative agriculture practices.

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