The Environmental Defense Fund and Tyson Foods, Inc., have partnered to develop and deploy initiatives to support Tyson’s sustainability strategy and help meet increasing consumer demand for more sustainably grown food.
The partnership’s first project focuses on land stewardship and aims to pilot and scale agriculture practices on 500,000 acres of corn that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve water quality and maximize farmer profitability. This effort will also help Tyson meet its land stewardship goal of working with farmers to improve environmental practices across two million acres of corn production by 2020.
The pilot will use cloud-based agricultural technologies from MyFarms and Farmers Business Network.
“If the largest U.S. food company can prove the viability of farming practices that are good for the planet and for profits, it would be a game changer,” noted Jenny Ahlen, director of the EDF+Business supply chain program. “We’re using scientific analysis to measure the benefits of sustainable farming practices, help companies like Tyson evaluate the impact of their sustainability initiatives, and inspire transparency across the supply chain.”
MyFarms and FBN will work to enroll farmers in the initial sustainable agriculture project. FBN will be providing this opportunity to its 7,600 members, who span nearly 30 million acres, and are looking for new ways to continue their commitment to sustainable agriculture. Farmers enrolled in MyFarms will also have the opportunity to pilot a new scientific method, based on extensive scientific research compiled by EDF, for calculating nitrogen loss.
“Developing a sustainable food system is important to our business and the planet,” said Justin Whitmore, executive vice president of continuous improvement and chief sustainability officer, Tyson Foods. “Joining forces with EDF enables us to bring together the best of our joint expertise in supply chains and sustainable agriculture, and deliver value to growers, businesses and the environment.”
Other features of the partnership include:
● Analyzing sustainability data on farmland, as part of Tyson’s land stewardship commitment.
● Publicly communicate progress and best practices that surface from pilot projects.
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