Kicking off a new Sustainable Product Expo this week, the CEOs from more than a dozen global companies gathered at Walmart headquarters in Arkansas Tuesday to pledge to increase sustainable food production.
Eight of the largest food companies announced pledges to help ensure that tomorrow’s food supply is affordable and sustainable for the nine billion people projected to inhabit the planet by 2050. The commitments aim to drive more collaboration and efficiency across the current food system. In total, this work is expected to bring eight million acres of farmland into sustainable agriculture programs and eliminate six million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).
Among the agricultural company CEOs participating in the event Tuesday was Greg Page of Cargill who talked about launching the next generation of their NextField precision agriculture platform. He said that Cargill will double its NextField acres by 2020, bringing them to “more than a million acres of total land being optimized for maximum productivity with minimum environmental impact.”[wpaudio url=”http://zimmcomm.biz/audio/walmart-1.mp3″ text=”Walmart Agribusiness panel”]
Monsanto chairman and CEO Hugh Grant announced two commitments at the event to help address challenges in the areas of water and nutrient efficiency. First, the company will work to increase water-use efficiency in irrigation across its own global seed production operations by 25 percent by 2020. Grant also pledged that the company “will continue to innovate and advance smarter seeds and precision management tools that enable farmers to use nutrients more efficiently and curb greenhouse gas emissions on one million acres in the United States by 2020.”
Grant held a telephone press conference following Tuesday’s event together with Illinois farmer and former National Corn Growers Association president Leon Corzine. [wpaudio url=”http://zimmcomm.biz/monsanto/walmart-monsanto.mp3″ text=”Monsanto Sustainability Commitments”]