MINNEAPOLIS — Two food giants — Nestlé and Cargill — are teaming up with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) in a conservation effort. Nestlé and Cargill are investing a combined $15 million, matching federal funding, so that the initiative will generate $30 million in grant funding for farmers. 

Nestlé, Cargill and NFWF hope to encourage voluntary adoption of conservation practices. They are seeking private landowners and conservation groups who can help improve land and water management and to restore wildlife habitats.

The groups will offer farmers technical and financial support to implement regenerative practices. The first round of grants is expected to be announced in April 2023.

“This partnership is activating the work needed in our supply chains to help create a regenerative, healthy food system,” said Emily Johannes, director of diverse and sustainable sourcing at Nestlé USA. “Working together as an industry leverages expertise and helps achieve the scale that is critical to accelerating the shift to regenerative farming. Taking action on regenerative agriculture means supporting farmers and ranchers to implement on-farm practices that help replenish the land, absorb carbon, and enhance the health of our environment.”

With a focus on improving regenerative practices across 1.7 million acres, the initiative could reduce the environmental footprint across more than 15 states, including areas in the Great Plains, Mountain West, Midwest and Southeastern regions of the United States.

The initiative could potentially sequester 845,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent over five years, according to NFWF.

Cargill is aiming to reduce the beef supply chain’s greenhouse gas emissions by 30% in North America by 2030. This partnership with Nestlé and NFWF is the latest venture to support that goal.

“At the heart of Cargill’s BeefUp Sustainability program is the unique ability to connect strong partners, inventive solutions and financial resources to scale impact in the fight against climate change,” said Jeffrey Fitzpatrick, Cargill BeefUp Sustainability program lead. “Leveraging the long history with our partners, this partnership has uncovered a sweet spot for us in supporting local farmers and ranchers, and their communities, all the while increasing supply chain sustainability, decreasing impact on the planet and showcasing beef as a force for good.”

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