USA – PepsiCo, one of the world’s leading food and beverage companies, has committed a US$216 million multi-year investment in long-term, strategic partnership agreements to drive the adoption of regenerative agriculture practices across the United States.

PepsiCo has partnered with three organizations will in this project to establish and scale financial, agronomic, and social programs that enable the transition to regenerative agriculture practices through education, upfront investment in outcomes, peer coaching and networking, and cost-sharing.

The organizations include Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI), Soil and Water Outcomes Fund (SWOF), and the IL Corn Growers Association (ICGA).

Driven by its PepsiCo Positive (pep+), the investment in PFI, SWOF, and ICGA is intended to support the U.S. farming community as it makes changes that aim to secure production volumes and mitigate the impacts of climate change while still cultivating quality, bountiful crops to feed the world’s growing population.

“We intend to be shoulder-to-shoulder with farmers as they work to make soil healthier, sequester carbon, improve watershed health and biodiversity, and improve their livelihoods,” said Jim Andrew, PepsiCo’s chief sustainability officer, in a statement.

Its ambitious pep+ targets include driving the adoption of regenerative agriculture practices across 7 million acres – approximately the size of PepsiCo’s agricultural footprint – by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions by 2040.

Through these partnerships, by 2030, PepsiCo will work with PFI to reach approximately 1.5 million acres; SWOF tonearly 1 million acres; and the ICGA approximately 600,000 acres.

Based on progress to date, these collaborative efforts are expected to deliver more than 500,000 regenerative acres by the end of 2023.

Margaret Henry, Senior Director of sustainable agriculture strategy and external engagement at PepsiCo, explained that the vast majority of the money will go directly to farmers, whether it’s to cover upfront costs or through outcomes-based payments.

She noted that the aim is to make the projects become self-sustaining: “Farming is extraordinarily hard, so PepsiCo is putting our money where our mouth is and partnering with farmers to help them try new things that we expect to deliver a return.”

The CPG giant has prioritized teaching its farmers new agriculture methods — such as planting cover crops, including cereal rye, which suppresses weeds — and set many of them up within a network of other farmers to help one another, the company’s vice president of sustainable agriculture Rob Meyers said last fall.

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