In the wake of Wal-Mart’s announced commitment to sustainable agriculture, PepsiCo has revealed plans to roll-out its new crop management system globally that will enable PepsiCo’s farmers to monitor, manage and reduce their water use and carbon emissions, while maximizing potential yield and quality.
The web-based i-crop farming technology, which was developed by PepsiCo in partnership with Cambridge University, United Kingdom, is part of PepsiCo’s sustainability strategy to reduce carbon emissions and water use by 50 percent across the farming of its core crops over the next five years in the UK.
The technology will be rolled out in Europe in 2011 followed by the United States. The company hopes to expand the roll-out to India, China, Mexico and Australia by 2012.
In the U.K., PepsiCo is the largest purchaser of British potatoes and one of the largest purchasers of British oats and apples, using 100 percent British produce in Walkers crisps, Copella English Apple juice, Quaker Oats, Oatso Simple and Scott’s porage.
Walkers recently announced that it plans to use potato peels to make its snack bags environmentally friendly. The new packaging made out of potato peels could be on the shelves within 18 months, starting with Walker’s smaller brands.
In its first Sustainable Farming Report, PepsiCo U.K. outlined how it is working in partnership with 350 British farmers to reach its aim of ’50 in 5′ (cutting carbon emissions and water use 50 percent in five years).
Other initiatives include trials of new low-carbon fertilizers and plans to replace more than 75 percent of PepsiCo U.K.’s current potato stock with varieties that will significantly improve farmers’ yields and decrease waste by 2015.
PepsiCo also released its first water report in September, noting that it has achieved a more than 15 percent improvement in water use efficiency as compared to the company’s 2006 baseline.