Walmart has joined sustainable agriculture group Field to Market, making it the largest member and first retailer in the alliance whose members include Cargill, General Mills, Kellogg, Monsanto, Coca-Cola Company and World Wildlife Fund, among others, Reuters reports.
An initiative of the nonprofit Keystone Center, Field to Market’s members include producers, agribusinesses, food companies and conservation organizations.
Field to Market is developing indicators to estimate the environmental, economic, social and health outcomes of US agriculture. In 2009, it launched its Fieldprint Calculator, a free online tool that helps growers analyze how their farming practices impact natural resources. The group’s July 2012 report found corn, wheat, soybeans, cotton, rice and potatoes are being produced more sustainably in the US than they were 30 years ago.
Walmart has said it will eliminate 20 million metric tons of GHG emissions from its global supply chain by the end of 2015, though to date it has only cut about 120,000 metric tons, according to its 2012 Global Responsibility Report.
Walmart consulted with Field to Market, among others, when launching its sustainable agriculture goals in 2010. These goals include reducing the environmental impact of its farming, cutting food waste, helping small- and medium-sized farmers expand their businesses, and asking suppliers about the water, energy, fertilizer and pesticide they use per unit of food produced.
In 2010 Walmart also committed to doubling the amount of locally grown produce it sells in the US by the end of 2015.
Shortly after Walmart announced its sustainable agriculture goals, PepsiCo rolled out its new global crop management system. In May — during the lead up to the Rio + 20 Earth Summit — the two companies along with Anglo American, Grupo Andre Maggi, Vale and Votorantim partnered to develop business strategies that protect the ecosystems in which they operate in Brazil.