Defined as a set of farming principles that improve and restore ecosystems while building resilience, regenerative agriculture includes practices that aim to make soil healthier, sequester carbon, improve watershed health and biodiversity, and strengthen farmer livelihood.
The long-term commercial agreement will create a large-scale platform to help farmers transition land to regenerative agriculture beginning with corn, soy, and wheat farmers across Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana, and Nebraska with the opportunity of further expansion.
Over the next few years, ADM and PepsiCo will introduce farm-first regenerative agriculture methods such as cover crops, reduced tillage, nutrient management, diverse crop rotations, and responsible pesticide use.
The companies also plan to provide participants with technical and financial assistance, offering access to peer regenerative farming networks, hosting educational field days, and tracking results using trusted, third-party measurement systems.
If able to reach its goal of transitioning to 2 million acres of land, the partnership could eliminate 1.4 million metric tons of greenhouse gasses at the farm level while creating more value for farmers, claimed PepsiCo.
“At its core, PepsiCo is an agricultural company working to spread regenerative agriculture practices that restore the earth and reduce carbon emissions to 7 million acres (an area approximately equal to its entire global farm footprint) by 2030. This partnership with ADM marks a sea change in how PepsiCo engages with strategic partners and is expected to help us reach almost one-third of that goal," said Jim Andrew, chief sustainability officer at PepsiCo.
Sequestering carbon, improving soil health, watershed health, and biodiversity
On its own, PepsiCo has converted more than 345,000 acres to regenerative agriculture practices in the US and Canada, with 100% of participating farmers permanently adopting regenerative practices thanks to a $2m incentivized co-investment fund. The company also has a goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2040.
ADM’s Strive 35 sustainability goals include reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25%, energy intensity by 15%, water intensity by 10%, and achieving a 90% landfill diversion rate by 2035 against a 2019 baseline. In 2021, ADM additionally committed to a new, aggressive environmental goal to reduce Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2035 while accelerating its target date to achieve a completely deforestation-free supply chain from 2030 to 2025.
"Sustainability is fundamental to ADM. Our growth strategy is underpinned by demand for more sustainable products, and our culture compels us to act," said ADM chief sustainability officer Alison Taylor.
"Today’s announcement is a major step forward, as we work with a partner whose values align with our own to scale up regenerative agriculture in a way few other companies can."