General Mills and its foundation, as part of the company’s long-term sustainable sourcing program, have signed a four-year joint commitment with supplier partner AgroMantaro to provide $1.1 million to help smallholder artichoke farmers in Peru increase yields and improve profitability.
The new program will reach about 100 small-scale artichoke farmers in Peru and will provide training on crop management and post-harvest practices, among other environmental and financial benefits. General Mills sources its artichokes for France’s top-selling brand, Green Giant (Le Géant Vert), from farmers in Peru’s Sierra region.
General Mills and its foundation are partnering with supplier AgroMantaro and global humanitarian organization CARE on this program.
The Central Andes region of Junín, with its ideal climate, rich soil and consistent water source, is an optimal location to grow premium artichokes, General Mills says. Artichokes grown in this region produce for three years, after which the field has to be re-planted.
Part of the General Mills-AgroMantaro commitment is to help Peruvian farmers obtain microcredits to purchase new seeds or plants. Historically, Andes farmers have not had reliable funds or enough savings to secure future plantings.
Last month, General Mills, Kraft Foods and Monsanto were among the first companies to join a project that aims to develop a comprehensive database for food and beverage life cycle assessments (LCAs).
The Swiss Federal Research Station Agroscope and consulting firm Quantis launched the World Food LCA Database (WFLDB) on Aug.8. They expect the project to be completed by 2015.