Monday 11 December 2023

McDonald’s and Mars among food giants unveiling new regenerative farming initiative

McDonald’s and Mars among food giants unveiling new regenerative farming initiative

McDonald's, PepsiCo and Mars are among the food giants that have launched a finance model to make regenerative farming financially viable for farmers.

The Sustainable Markets Initiative's Agribusiness Task Force, which also includes McCain Foods, Sustainable Food Trust and Waitrose, announced the new blended finance framework which it believes could unlock trillions of dollars for regenerative agriculture.

The global food system currently creates around 30% of emissions and is the greatest driver to nature loss.

The task force believes embracing regenerative farming could help provide a third of the land-based climate action needed by 2030 but it found the economics do not work for most farmers.

The companies are calling for 10 policy changes which could help unlock a projected $1.2 trillion (£0.96tn) that regenerative agriculture can add to the global economy.

That includes financial advice and training support to farmers implementing regenerative farming, promoting regenerative farming terms in trade agreements and creating incentives for landowners to encourage regenerative techniques by tenants.

The task force is currently exploring at least four farming projects to prove its concept, including rice in India, canola and wheat projects in Poland and potatoes and other crops in the UK.

Grant Reid, former CEO of Mars, Inc. and Chair of the Sustainable Markets Initiative's Agribusiness Task Force said: “Taking farming back to its roots through regenerative practices isn't a choice; it's one of the only ways we can guarantee farming and global food supply chains can survive for generations to come.

“That's why our plan, proving that regenerative farming could be economically viable, rewarding and scalable, could be transformational to the world. But we need to prove it, which is why we're eagerly putting into practice our theory by launching implementation projects across the world.

“And while I'm so proud of the cross-industry group we've built to-date, with merely five harvests left until 2030, it needs to grow even more. That's why I call upon those with influence, from food and finance leaders, to governments, NGOs, to join us in this transformative journey.”

Written by

Sumit Bose

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