Food

General Mills and Walmart team up to accelerate regenerative agriculture

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Dive Brief:

  • General Mills will work with Walmart to accelerate the adoption of regenerative agriculture across 600,000 acres by 2030, the companies said Tuesday. 
  • The collaboration will fund projects that seek to advance more sustainable farming practices for wheat and other crops in seven U.S. states including Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.
  • Grants will be administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The 600,000 acreage target is roughly the amount of land General Mills relies on to source key ingredients for products sold through Walmart and Sam’s Club stores.

Dive Insight:

Walmart has engaged some of its largest suppliers on regenerative agriculture projects, announcing in July it would team with PepsiCo on a $120 million investment to support farmers who improve their soil and water quality.

The retail giant has also embarked on sustainability initiatives within its own supply chain, working with ranchers to improve grazing methods and implementing regenerative practices for nearly 10,000 acres in support of Walmart’s private label long-grain rice. 

The collaboration with General Mills will fund organizations that work to accelerate regenerative agriculture by providing farmers with educational resources and technical assistance. General Mills said the partnership puts it on the path to exceed its goal of advancing the adoption of regenerative agriculture on 1 million acres by 2030.

“Through this partnership, we will work hand-in-hand with Walmart and Sam’s Club to help regenerate the acres of land in the key regions where we source ingredients for our shared business,” Jon Nudi, General Mills group president of North America Retail, said in a statement. “We are excited by the opportunity to bring our products, including Pillsbury refrigerated dough and Blue Buffalo pet food and treats, to Walmart shelves more sustainably, with the help of our merchants and farmer partners.”

General Mills and Walmart will each make sustained financial investments over the course of the collaboration, a spokesperson said. Beyond the corporate funding, the National Fish and Wildlife Service receives matching federal grants. 

Mary Jane Melendez, General Mills chief sustainability and global impact officer, said in an emailed statement that the collaboration came about after the two companies “looked across capabilities and shared interests, and conducted learning to ideate on how to advance this work together.”

“While our companies are making meaningful and continued progress toward individual sustainability and regenerative goals, we agree that to drive regenerative outcomes at scale, it requires thought partnership and co-investment to our shared agricultural landscapes,” Melendez said.

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