Intelligent CXO Issue 6 - Page 62

REGIONAL ROUND-UP

AFRICA APAC EUROPE MIDDLE EAST NORTH AMERICA

DRIVING REGENERATION IN AGRICULTURE

In 2016 , Walmart announced its commitment to sustainably source at least 20 key commodities by 2025 . Building on that work , in 2020 , it embarked on its journey to go beyond sustainability and become a regenerative company , dedicated to placing nature and humanity at the centre of its business .

Regeneration means restoring , renewing and replenishing , in addition to conserving and sustaining . And as part of that aim , it has committed to protect , manage or restore at least 50 million acres of land by 2030 . Across its business , associates have been working with its suppliers and partners to develop tangible ways to make progress toward these goals .
As Walmart sought to drive regeneration in agriculture , it knew it had to focus on food staples like wheat , corn , soy and rice . These crops are foundational to the health and nutrition of its customers and communities . Rice , for example , is the primary staple for more than half the world ’ s population , and corn is the most widely produced feed grain in the US .
As a next step in this journey , Walmart and Sam ’ s Club released its new Row Crop Position Statement at its Sustainable Row Crop Summit , outlining farming and reporting best practices for its row crop suppliers . It believes these best practices will help its suppliers and its partners transition to a more sustainable and regenerative future in agricultural production . Some of the practices Walmart recommends include soil and nutrient management , integrated pest management , water management and land management .
Its bold row crop ambitions require new ways of farming , and recognise that best practices will vary and depend on the geography farmers are in . That ’ s why its Row Crop Position Statement emphasises the need for place-based solutions . In practice , this means protecting multiple resources in an area , engaging diverse stakeholders and promoting holistic and innovative strategies for improvement .
As a retailer , it recognises that it must work together to achieve a more sustainable , regenerative future . With this collective mindset to guide it , Walmart has spent the last five years working with the Midwest Row Crop Collaborative ( MRCC ): a unique partnership of retailers , suppliers and non-profits focused on incubating and implementing solutions to today ’ s most challenging agricultural issues .
MRCC helps farmers in the US heartland adopt farming practices that can reduce emissions , improve soil health and water quality and boost farm resilience and profitability . At Walmart ’ s Sustainable Row Crop Summit , it convened some of its fellow MRCC members to share progress on MRCC ’ s work to develop place-based initiatives for Midwest row crop producers . It also announced three new 2030 goals that reflect its shared ambition for a more regenerative agricultural system .
Walmart will track progress toward these goals through Project Gigaton , Walmart ’ s initiative to avoid 1 billion metric tons of emissions ( one gigaton ) from its global value chain by 2030 , with the help of its suppliers .
Finally , at the summit it announced that , in August of this year , the Walmart Foundation provided funding to the University of Minnesota Foundation to help create a new Sustainable Protein Scaling Initiative . This initiative will develop a pathway to scale climate-smart farming practices in the Upper Midwest , by driving the adoption of emerging crops whose production is associated with better soil health . x
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