CPG Companies Go Supply Chain

The Lempert Report
April 02, 2020

SmartBrief reports that food producers are reliant on the farmers in their agricultural supply chain


And these companies are becoming increasingly transparent in their support of the vital agriculture industry to improve outputs and create harmonious relationships with suppliers. And they are giving support with their checkbooks.

The top concern facing the agriculture industry today is a continued decline of natural resources, according to Mary Jane Melendez, chief sustainability and social impact officer at General Mills told SmartBrief.

“Over the last 150 years we have lost 50% of the world’s farmable topsoil -- we used to measure topsoil in feet; today, we measure it in inches,” Melendez said. “That is a problem because today, 95% of all food comes from the soil. Without soil, we aren’t going to be able to feed this population.”

General Mills is working to address that problem through regenerative agriculture, which the company defines as working “with nature to pull carbon from the air (CO2) and store it in the soil.” The company’s goal is to advance regenerative practices on 1 million acres by 2030, and it recently announced a pilot program in Kansas to help wheat producers promote better water quality of the Cheney Reservoir watershed.  

Farmer-owned cooperative Land O’Lakes’ sustainability solutions business Truterra -- has three main focus areas in sustainability: air, soil and water. The company is working to foster continuous improvement of environmental issues while keeping farmers profitable, said Molly Toot, senior director of Truterra member engagement.

 Through a partnership with TruterraCampbell Soup Company’s farmers in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Ohio are using the Truterra Insights Engine to collect data on roughly 70,000 acres of farmland of wheat grown for Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers.

“Today’s statistics tell us that consumers want to know how their food is produced, and they want to know food is being produced in a sustainable way,” said Toot.

 “Our business is rooted in the earth,” said Melendez. “We depend completely on the health and wellbeing of Mother Nature to get all the input needed to make and market delicious products all around the world. For us, it’s a business and planetary imperative.”