Global retail giant Walmart and multinational food and beverage corporation PepsiCo announced today a seven-year collaboration aimed at investing $120 million in support of U.S. and Canadian farmers. The plan is to improve soil health and water quality through the promotion of regenerative agriculture practices on over 2 million acres of farmland.
The partnership targets the reduction and removal of approximately 4 million metric tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030, an amount equivalent to the electricity required to power 778,300 homes for one year. This ambitious collaboration focuses on scaling financial, agronomic, and social programs, thereby facilitating the adoption of sustainable farming practices.
Jeff Huffman, Owner & Operator of Island Farms LLC in Maxwell, Neb., underscored the importance of this movement from a farmer’s perspective. “Embracing regenerative agriculture is essential. It’s not only beneficial to the environment and our food quality, but also boosts the profitability of our businesses,” he said.
PepsiCo and Walmart heavily rely on farmers for supplying key ingredients for their consumer products. With a supply chain that spans across North America, dealing with major crops such as potatoes, oats, corn, wheat, soybeans, and rice, sustainability varies across commodities and regions. The collaboration aims to provide a flexible, voluntary approach to regenerative agriculture, emphasizing the importance of farmers’ input and acknowledging the diverse nature of agriculture.
Chief Sustainability Officer at PepsiCo, Jim Andrew, highlighted the importance of trust in sustainable farming. “At PepsiCo, we work very hard to earn the trust of the farmer so they understand that we are investing in their legacy. Farmers know their business better than anyone else. For regenerative agriculture to make business sense, they need economic, social, cultural, and agronomic support. This strategic collaboration with Walmart will advance our shared goal to back farmers as they transform farming to benefit the planet and people.”
Senior Vice President for sustainability at Walmart, Jane Ewing, also shared her views. “Our sustainability strategy aims to make the everyday choice the sustainable choice for our customers. This collaboration with PepsiCo prioritizes the expansion of regenerative agricultural practices among farmers across North America. It aims to elevate farmer livelihoods, engage them on how to more sustainably manage soil health, increase yields and create a model for others to follow.”
PepsiCo and Walmart have aligned their focus on supporting farming communities while enhancing soil and water health and reducing carbon emissions. PepsiCo’s ambitious pep+ (PepsiCo Positive) goals include driving the adoption of regenerative agriculture practices across 7 million acres by 2030 and reducing absolute GHG emissions by over 40% across its entire value chain by 2030, with a target of net-zero emissions by 2040.
Steven Williams, Chief Executive Officer, PepsiCo Foods North America, underscored the novelty of the venture. “This effort is a new model for PepsiCo, marking our first large-scale strategic collaboration focused on sustainable agriculture with a retail partner. By joining forces with Walmart, we’ll be empowering farmers through education, upfront investment in outcomes, peer coaching, and cost-sharing – and hopefully inspiring others to join us.”
This initiative demonstrates Walmart’s commitment to collaborate purposefully to hasten the adoption of regenerative practices, aligning with its goal to protect, restore or more sustainably manage 50 million acres of land and 1 million square miles of ocean by 2030, alongside the Walmart Foundation.