General Mills has committed to using regenerative agriculture methods on 1 million acres of farmland by 2030. The method of farming is designed to protect natural resources by bringing carbon from the air and storing it in the soil.
The company is partnering with farmers, suppliers and farm advisors in “key growing regions” to increase adoption of these more sustainable practices for ingredients including oats, wheat, corn, dairy feed and sugar beets.
General Mills is giving $650,000 to “Kiss the Ground” — a non-profit organization that advocates for environmental practices — to train farmers on how to boost profits, make the land more resilient to harsh conditions and low.
Regenerative agriculture provides direct investments to individual farmers to help them convert to more sustainable practices. In return, the company can scale up its regenerative-farmed ingredients, which align with growing consumer demand for eco-friendly and environmentally conscious products.
The promise to grow its regenerative agriculture practices falls in line with General Mills’ recent steps to improve the sustainability of its businesses. The company has already committed to improving its soil health and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 28% by 2050. Other efforts include using age-old farming methods to incorporate more organic acreage and work with perennial grains.
Sustainability has become more of a necessity for food companies in recent years and the industry is constantly looking for new, more environmentally friendly ways for food production amid a growing population and increasingly scarce resources. And consumers want more sustainable products, too. Almost half of U.S. consumers said they would change their purchasing decisions based on environmental standards, according to recent Nielsen data. With companies looking to go green and consumers willing to pay, General Mills could soon be one of many companies that makes big commitments to regenerativeagriculture.