PepsiCo: Sustainable Farming Program (SFP)

Through PepsiCo’s Sustainable Farming Program (SFP), the global food and beverage company advances positive social, environmental and economic outcomes in its direct agricultural supply chain. Implemented across 38 countries, the SFP has provided over 40,000 farmers around the world with training and resources in field agronomy, efficient fertilizer and water use, plant protection techniques and workers’ rights, helping them on the path to greater productivity and resiliency.

The challenges

The Sustainable Farming Program is part of PepsiCo’s contribution to tackling the common challenges that global agriculture faces.

For PepsiCo, as well as being a necessary contribution to tackling the challenges we all share, these issues represent a risk to supply chain security for business and to their license to operate. (Particularly, it is estimated that we need to produce up to 50% more food by the middle of the decade, but with minimal increase in the land area cultivated and while significantly reducing the negative environmental impacts of agriculture. Already, 70 percent of the world’s fresh water use is in agriculture alone, even as more communities experience water scarcity. A third of greenhouse gas emissions originate in the food system. More than half of fertile topsoil is classed as degraded).

When it comes to the Demonstration Farms, PepsiCo sources from 60 countries. Pepsi Co’s farmer-sourced ingredients come from 40,000 farms. Implementing the Sustainable Farming Program across such a diverse community of farmers is a challenge. The geographies, cultures and socio-economic conditions vary greatly. In some agricultural regions, farmers are hard to reach except by peer-to-peer learning. Demo Farms enable us to adapt the SFP to varying conditions, learn what works, develop new solutions with our farmers and access their networks to spread what we learn.

The work

As part of the program, PepsiCo has built a global network of over 100 Demonstration Farms to help the company learn how best to apply the SFP in diverse growing regions, from the US to India and Thailand. On each Demonstration Farm, the PepsiCo team works with pioneer local farmers to find and implement the solutions that work best for them. Impact is measured based on environmental, social and business criteria, like greenhouse gas reductions, yield improvement and farmer income increase. Each Demonstration Farm is opened to other local farmers to enable peer-to-peer learning and promote the wider adoption of sustainable farming practices.

PepsiCo is currently rolling out the use of tools like FieldPrint Calculator and the Cool Farm Tool, which enable its team to work with farmers to quantify on-farm greenhouse gas emissions and soil carbon sequestration. This empowers them to make management decisions that can improve the carbon impact of their farm. For example, in two states in the U.S., Illinois and Iowa, PepsiCo is helping farmers to plant cover crops on their land between rotations. Its goal is to help prove a model for supporting soil health and farm resilience in the face of heat, cold, drought and flood, and to demonstrate further how building the health of soils can help farmers mitigate, and adapt to, climate change.

The work

As part of the program, PepsiCo has built a global network of over 100 Demonstration Farms to help the company learn how best to apply the SFP in diverse growing regions, from the US to India and Thailand. On each Demonstration Farm, the PepsiCo team works with pioneer local farmers to find and implement the solutions that work best for them. Impact is measured based on environmental, social and business criteria, like greenhouse gas reductions, yield improvement and farmer income increase. Each Demonstration Farm is opened to other local farmers to enable peer-to-peer learning and promote the wider adoption of sustainable farming practices.

PepsiCo is currently rolling out the use of tools like FieldPrint Calculator and the Cool Farm Tool, which enable its team to work with farmers to quantify on-farm greenhouse gas emissions and soil carbon sequestration. This empowers them to make management decisions that can improve the carbon impact of their farm. For example, in two states in the U.S., Illinois and Iowa, PepsiCo is helping farmers to plant cover crops on their land between rotations. Its goal is to help prove a model for supporting soil health and farm resilience in the face of heat, cold, drought and flood, and to demonstrate further how building the health of soils can help farmers mitigate, and adapt to, climate change.

The participants

PepsiCo. Third party verification for SFP through One Peterson. Numerous implementation partners for Demo Farms, including Bayer, Syngenta and Yara. Technology partners iclude Cool Farm Tool.

Related case studies