Global food giant Nestlé, the world’s largest food company, says it will pay farmers a ‘premium’ price for food produced from regenerative agriculture practices.
Unveiling its 2050 carbon neutral strategy, the Swiss food giant said it expects to source 14m tonnes of food ingredients from regenerative agriculture systems by 2030.
Nestlé operates a major infant formula business here in Ireland known as Wyeth Nutritionals Ireland.
This business produces up to 40,000t of infant formula every year from its plant in Askeaton, Co Limerick, and is a significant customer for Irish dairy ingredients.
As part of its strategy to become carbon neutral within its full supply chain by 2050, Nestlé said it would invest €3bn over the next five years to accelerate emissions reductions across its business.
Of this €3bn investment, Nestlé said over €1.1bn would be dedicated to encourage regenerative agriculture practices within its supply chain.
On top of the investment in regenerative agriculture, Nestlé said it will be scaling up its reforestation programme with the goal of planting 20 million trees every year for the next decade.
The company said its primary supply chains of key commodities, such as palm oil and soya, will be deforestation-free by 2022.
Nestlé said it also expects to transition its 800 food manufacturing and packing sites across the globe to 100% renewable electricity by 2025.
However, the biggest challenge for many food processors is finding a renewable alternative to natural gas, which is a key energy input for the global food industry.
Nestlé said it would be using its carbon emissions from 2018 as its baseline year for measuring reductions.
In total, Nestlé said its greenhouse gas emissions for 2018 stood at 92m tonnes, which is 30m tonnes more than the total emissions produced by the entire Irish economy last year.