2. ZERO HUNGER

Regenerative agriculture: results plant hope for the future

Regenerative agriculture: results plant hope for the future
Written by ZJbTFBGJ2T

Regenerative agriculture: results plant hope for the future  Unilever

Regenerative agriculture: results plant hope for the future

Incorporating Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Unilever’s Regenerative Agriculture Projects

Unilever has introduced its Regenerative Agriculture Principles, which aim to collaborate with farmers, suppliers, and partners to implement agricultural practices that can regenerate and protect soil. These principles contribute to Unilever’s Net Zero pathway and help ensure food security and a resilient supply chain.

Four projects have been designed to implement these principles, addressing the unique needs of different crops and landscapes. These projects also provide a framework to measure the impact of implementation.

The results gathered from these projects demonstrate their effectiveness in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing biodiversity, improving water efficiency and quality, and strengthening soil health. The positive impact of these projects highlights the power of collaboration in effecting real change.

Water and Soil Management – Tomatoes, Badajoz, Spain

The aim: Knorr, in partnership with Spanish tomato supplier Agraz, is working to help farmers in the Badajoz region protect their crops from the effects of decreased rainfall and depleted underground water reserves, as well as protect the area’s biodiversity.

Why it matters: Through these projects, there has been a reduction in costs, water usage, and the use of fertilizers and pesticides. This reduction has greatly benefited the soil, making it more fertile and sustainable. Antonio Tienza Villalobos, farm manager at Aldea del Conde S.L., expresses pride in being part of this pioneering initiative that cares for the planet.

The project: Cutting-edge sensors and soil probes are used to inform farmers about the exact amount of water needed for irrigation. This precise water use has resulted in significant financial savings and a more resilient production system. Additionally, farmers have been encouraged to plant wildflower borders to increase biodiversity.

The results:

  • A 37% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions (kg of CO2 equivalent) per kg of tomatoes compared to before the project.
  • An increase in soil organic matter from 1% in 2020 to 1.27% in 2022, indicating improved soil fertility and carbon capture capacity.
  • A 173% increase in pollinators and a 27% increase in wildflower diversity where farmers implemented wildflower borders.

Antonio Tienza Villalobos, farm manager at Aldea del Conde S.L., emphasizes the positive impact of these projects in reducing costs, water usage, and the use of fertilizers and pesticides, which greatly benefit the soil.

Methane Reduction – Rice, Arkansas, US

The aim: Knorr partnered with US rice supplier Riviana and the University of Arkansas (UARK) to find ways to grow rice while preserving water reserves and decreasing methane emissions.

Why it matters: Unilever’s Vice President, Climate & Nature, Eric Soubeiran, highlights the commitment to finding new ways of growing traditional crops that work for farmers, the business, and the environment. With nearly 60% of Unilever’s carbon footprint coming from raw materials and ingredients, reducing the climate impact of products is essential.

The project: The project aimed to reduce methane emissions released when rice fields are flooded. New practices such as furrow irrigation and wetting and drying methods were introduced to decrease the amount of time the land stays under water, thus reducing methane release.

The results:

  • A 76% reduction in methane emissions (kg of CO2eq per kg of rice) compared to before the project.
  • A 48% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (kg CO2eq per kg of rice) compared to before the project.

Eric Soubeiran, Unilever’s Vice President, Climate & Nature, emphasizes the importance of working with suppliers to reduce the climate impact of products.

Soil Protection – Soybeans, Iowa, US

The aim: Hellmann’s partnered with Practical Farmers of Iowa, PepsiCo, and soybean supplier ADM to protect the soil used to grow soybeans for Hellmann’s mayonnaise in the US. The project also aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and nitrate levels in water.

Why it matters: Stefani Millie, Senior Manager, External Affairs and Sustainability at Unilever, highlights the value of collaboration in testing practices that have the most impact for farmers and suppliers. The project is based on three pillars: financial assistance, technical assistance, and peer support/learning.

The project: The cover crop planting project involved 523 farmers and over 35,000 hectares of farmland. Farmers received financial and technical support to plant non-commercial cover crops to protect the soil from adverse weather conditions. The practices were tested on demonstration farms and will be rolled out to over 200 other rice farmers in the area in 2023.

The results:

  • A 14% reduction in nitrate runoff water compared to comparison fields.
  • A 6% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to comparison fields.

Stefani Millie, Senior Manager, External Affairs and Sustainability at Unilever, emphasizes the value of collaboration in testing practices for farmers and suppliers.

Reducing Water Pollution – Lombardy, Italy

The aim: Knorr partnered with Italian supplier Parboriz to reduce water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, while increasing biodiversity.

Why it matters: Hanneke Faber, Nutrition President at Unilever, highlights the importance of collaboration in testing practices that have the most impact for farmers and suppliers.

The project: The project involved four demonstration farms spanning 900 hectares to test new practices for reducing chemical residue in water. The practices will be applied to over 200 other rice farmers in the area in 2023.

The results:

  • A 78% reduction in pesticide residue.
  • A 62% reduction in herbicide residue.
  • A 78% reduction in fungicide residue.

Hanneke Faber, Nutrition President at Unilever, emphasizes the value of collaboration in testing practices for farmers and suppliers.

What Happens Next

These projects serve as the foundation for scaling up regenerative agriculture in Unilever’s supply chain. The aim is to expand to more than 100 programs by 2030, contributing to Unilever’s commitment to restoring and regenerating 1.5 million hectares of land, oceans, and forests. The time for pilots is over; it is time to go big.

SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

SDG 2: Zero Hunger

  • Target 2.4: By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters, and that progressively improve land and soil quality.
  • Indicator 2.4.1: Proportion of agricultural area under productive and sustainable agriculture.

SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

  • Target 6.3: By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater, and increasing recycling and safe reuse globally.
  • Indicator 6.3.2: Proportion of bodies of water with good ambient water quality.

SDG 13: Climate Action

  • Target 13.2: Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning.
  • Indicator 13.2.1: Number of countries that have communicated the strengthening of institutional, systemic and individual capacity-building to implement adaptation, mitigation and technology transfer.

SDG 15: Life on Land

  • Target 15.1: By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services.
  • Indicator 15.1.1: Forest area as a proportion of total land area.

SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals

  • Target 17.16: Enhance the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources.
  • Indicator 17.16.1: Number of countries reporting progress in multi-stakeholder development effectiveness monitoring frameworks that support the achievement of the sustainable development goals.

Behold! This splendid article springs forth from the wellspring of knowledge, shaped by a wondrous proprietary AI technology that delved into a vast ocean of data, illuminating the path towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Remember that all rights are reserved by SDG Investors LLC, empowering us to champion progress together.

Source: unilever.com

 

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