PepsiCo enter strategic partnership with Iowa farming groups

PepsiCo's Cedar Rapids plant. CREDIT RICHARD PRATT

PepsiCo recently announced a $216 million multi-year investment with three farmer organizations, including Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI) and Soil and Water Outcomes Fund (SWOF).

The agreements are intended to drive adoption of regenerative agriculture practices on more than three million acres. It is expected the partnerships will deliver three million metric tons of greenhouse gas emission reductions and removals by 2030, according to a press release.

“As the climate crisis continues to escalate, the threat to our food system increases as well,” said Jim Andrew, PepsiCo chief sustainability officer, in a release. “It’s critically important to partner, for the long term, with organizations that have earned the trust of farmers as they make the transition to adopt climate-smart agriculture practices. We intend to be shoulder-to-shoulder with farmers as they work to make soil healthier, sequester carbon, improve watershed health and biodiversity and improve their livelihoods.”

PepsiCo will help PFI and SWOT reach approximately 1.5 million and 1 million acres respectively. Across all three partnerships, the collaborative efforts will deliver more than 500,000 acres by the end of the year.

“We are excited to expand our partnership with PepsiCo and farmers in its supply chain to support the adoption of regenerative agriculture practices that have measurable impacts on soil health, the environment and farm sustainability,” said Adam Kiel, managing director of the Soil and Water Outcomes Fund, in a statement. “By providing high-quality and customized agronomic assistance to farmers implementing new practices we help them reduce emissions and nutrient loss, unlock a new revenue stream and increase the value of their farmland for current and future generations.”

“PFI farmers have known for years that a supply chain that encourages farmers to grow only a couple of crops is not sustainable – it’s not diverse or resilient enough for our changing world,” said Sally Worley, PFI executive director in a release. “The PFI model is proven – when we plug farmers into our powerful network and connect them with a peer network, educational resources, funding and technical support, they’re able to build more resilient farms.”

PepsiCo is also partnering with the IL Corn Growers Association.

PFI is a nonprofit with more than 6,000 members that offers learning opportunities to farmers through events, funding and technical assistance.

The Soil and Water Outcomes Fund has enrolled more than 240,000 acres across nine states and provided an average financial incentive of more than $31 per acre to farmers to develop regenerative agriculture practices.