At Nestlé our ambition is simple: we want to leave the world better than we found it. Part of that mission is looking at how we source our ingredients and working with our partners and suppliers on farms throughout the U.S. to help build a regenerative food system.
Farmers are at the center of our approach to this work. With such a broad range of products in Nestlé’s portfolio, and farmers in our supply chain growing a variety of crops across different regions of the country, regenerative solutions and practices need to be customized for each crop or farm. This requires frequent and thoughtful collaboration, using our scale and innovative approaches, leveraging farmers’ unique expertise in their field, and enlisting third-party verification to ensure our work is effective.
The path to building a regenerative food system is a long one, and we know we can’t do it alone. Globally, our target is to source 50% of our key ingredients through regenerative agriculture methods by 2030. Here are just a few of the ways we’re working with partners across the U.S. to help verify and support our efforts, and ultimately, turn our ambition into reality.
Working with Leading Harvest to Certify Regenerative Farming Methods
We believe in taking a science-based approach to improving our supply chains. That’s why we’re excited to work with Leading Harvest, a non-profit organization that monitors and audits sustainable farming methods through their adaptable Farmland Management Standard. The Standard verifies sustainable outcomes across 13 principles, including conservation, protecting water resources, energy usage and climate change, biodiversity, and continual improvement.
In 2022, through our Sweet Earth brand we began working with Leading Harvest to certify sustainable and regenerative farming practices in our tomato and soy supply chains, making Sweet Earth Foods the first brand to partner with Leading Harvest to certify the sustainable growing practices of its suppliers.
Leading Harvest will also work directly with suppliers, providing training materials on their Standard appropriate for the suppliers’ farms, so they can gain certification through the Farmland Management Standard.
We’re excited about this first step with Leading Harvest, and the potential it unlocks for future projects in our supply chain.
Helping Pumpkin Farmers Adopt Regenerative Farming Practices with Sustainable Environmental Consultants
Our Libby’s pumpkin team has long been committed to making your favorite fall flavor sustainable from patch to pie, and our pumpkin farmers are already advancing some regenerative practices on their farms. To help these farmers build on their progress, we work with Sustainable Environmental Consultants (SEC) – a third-party organization that helps us collect and measure data through their EcoPractices platform - to verify the regenerative practices activated on the farms.
This initiative includes Libby’s farmers in our supply chain across central Illinois: more than 70 fields of pumpkin, covering over 6,000 acres of farmland. SEC visits farms throughout the growing season to collect data and assess the environmental outcomes of regenerative practices through the EcoPractices platform. This data shows that Libby’s farmers are using practices that improve some key environmental outcomes across important areas such as soil health, water use, and on-farm emissions. For example, by utilizing sustainable, reduced tillage practices, Libby’s farmers saved the equivalent of approximately 43 dump trucks of soil—or 694 tons of soil annually—from being lost to erosion in just the first year of our data collection, as compared to conventional tillage.
Our strong relationship with pumpkin farmers, alongside the verification data our partners provide to measure outcomes, are helping us build on our progress to make our pumpkin supply chain even better for the planet.
Making Your Pet’s Food More Sustainable with Truterra
We want you to feel confident that the food you buy for your family is grown sustainably, and that means every member of your family – including your pets. Our Nestlé Purina team is working with Truterra, a farmer-driven ag and food sustainability program, on an initiative to support environmental stewardship practices on over 150,000 acres of U.S. farmland.
Truterra supports farmers as they scale regenerative practices and measure the sequestration of carbon as a result of these efforts. Farmers in Nestlé Purina’s supply chain who are participating in the initiative use the Truterra Insights Engine – an on–farm digital platform, to benchmark the impact of current practices and assess areas where farming methods can be improved in the future.
This has implications across key areas where Purina is adopting a data-based approach, including improving soil health, removing carbon emissions, and potentially removing carbon from the atmosphere.
To change the global food system, we’ve got to start at home, and importantly, on our farms. That’s why we’re excited to work with partners across our many brands and operating companies to help verify environmental outcomes and build a regenerative supply chain right here in the United States.
We have big ambitions, but by working together on solutions that work for farmers, companies, and consumers, we can help make those ambitions a reality.