Home » Purpose » Environmental Sustainability » Sustainable Agriculture
As one of the world's largest food and beverage companies we rely on the earth's natural resources to run a successful business. PepsiCo can only make great tasting products with the best quality raw materials - the potatoes, oats, apples and milk we source from thousands of farms globally.
We have a team across Europe dedicated to managing our agricultural business. Our agriculture team's relationship with farmers is crucial to the success of our sustainable agriculture initiatives and to ensuring we have the best quality ingredients for our products. The team works closely with farmers to understand the challenges of European farming today and in the future. Partnerships with world leading research institutes across Europe such as University of Cambridge and University of Aberdeen also allow us to understand how and where our farmers are impacting most on the environment.
Our Goals and Commitments
- We are committed to protecting this resource for the future by working in partnership with farmers to create sustainable agriculture
- We are investing in the future of farming investing in new technologies, supporting agricultural innovation and working with suppliers to reduce their impact and increase their yields
- We believe farming does not take place in isolation, delivering truly sustainable agriculture requires a strategy that tackles wider issues: renewable energy, public policy, water use, supply chain, retailers and consumers
Our current European initiatives include:
- In Iberia, France, Holland, Belgium and Germany we have trained our potato suppliers (jointly with Cambridge University Farm) in risk and agro-chemical optimisation and have also begun tests in potato fields to establish the carbon and water footprints for potatoes grown in these programs and develop strategies to reduce water consumption and emissions of CO2
- PepsiCo Europe is piloting a whole farm certification program that defines sustainable agriculture and includes standards, practices and measures to demonstrate compliance to sustainable practices in our supply chain and demonstrate positive improvement over time by the grower. Potato, Corn and Oat crops have been included in pilots across UK, Iberia and Turkey. In its current format this work includes Environmental scope but will be expanded to include social and Economic components
- In 2000 PepsiCo launched a partnership programme with potato cultivating farmers in Central and Southern Russia designed to enhance the supply of high quality potatoes. As part of the programme, farmers receive quality seeds, agro machinery, loans and credits. This support constitutes up to 30-40% of operational financing to support the cost of planting. The programme also supports the construction of climate controlled storage warehouses. Farmers partnering with PepsiCo in Russia receive loans to buy seeds and fertilizers and receive constant help and consultancy from PepsiCo agro experts. Thanks to the PepsiCo Agro Program, participating farmers have the potential to increase their crops yields from 13 tonnes per hectare (Russian average crop) to 24 tonnes per hectare.
- PepsiCo Europe continues to invest in new sciences, for example i-crop technology specifically for the European market with the aim of making farming more productive while preserving the natural resources employed in crop production. PepsiCo Europe also leverages the global knowledge contained in both PepsiCo internal and external institutions through the PepsiCo Global Agricultural Council to gain access and understanding of new opportunities available in the market place. Current partnerships include an academic CSR programme with Don State Technical University, Rostov State Academy of Agricultural Machinery and Kuban State Agro University and The University of Aberdeen - the cool farm tool.
- i-cropTMis a web-based crop management system developed in conjunction with Cambridge University that allows growers to monitor and manage their crop to produce the best results for maximum yield and quality.
- It helps growers to track crop inputs and outputs allowing them to accurately calculate water use and track carbon emissions. We are trialing the i-cropTMsystem across a number of our farms, helping growers record inputs, outputs and crop growth data more accurately in order to learn and then implement a best practice model.
- We hope i-cropTMwill play a key role in helping us to achieve the ambitious targets defined in our Path to Zero commitments - namely a 50% reduction in agricultural carbon emissions of key growers by 2015 and a 50% reduction in water impact of key growers who operate in water stressed areas by 2015.
- PepsiCo is currently trialing i-cropTM in the UK, Turkey, Spain, Portugal and Germany, with plans to roll it out across other European markets in future.
Academic CSR Programme
In 2008, PepsiCo announced a new large-scale CSR program aimed at supporting agricultural education in Russia by awarding annual grants to students and academic staff in three technical institutes in Rostov and Krasnodar; Don State Technical University, Rostov State Academy of Agricultural Machinery and Kuban State Agro University. The aim of the programme is to encourage more students to study agriculture and to provide the institutes with modern scientific equipment and know-how on the latest advances in agriculture from around the world.
The education initiative, worth in the region of $750,000, has since grown to include scholarships programmes and international student exchanges. In 2010 - 2011 more universities joined the programme which now covers all key agro-universities of Russia: Russian State Agriculture Academy named after Timiryazev (Moscow), Saint Petersburg State Agricultural Academy, Krasnodar State Agricultural Academy, Stavropol State Agricultural Academy, Don State Agricultural Academy (Rostov), Don State Technical University (Rostov).
The Cool Farm Tool
The tool was developed in collaboration with Unilever and The University of Aberdeen. A computerised carbon calculator, it enables farmers to analyse and better understand how much carbon is used during farming practices, giving a recognised industry number of CO2e used in each activity. By helping farmers tto better understand their carbon usage, they are able to make effective changes to limit their impact on the environment.