AIMARGUES, FRANCE — Royal Canin, a pet food division of Mars, Incorporated, announced July 11 it has partnered with agronomy company Soil Capital to promote regenerative agricultural practices among European farmers.

Through the initiative, Royal Canin and Soil Capital will facilitate training, financial support and engagement to support climate-smart practices, with a focus on reducing carbon emissions. Improving soil health, biodiversity, water use and climate resistance are also goals of the initiative.

The project aims to positively impact nearly 250 farmers and up to 300,000 hectares of farmland in Europe, and is expected to lower greenhouse gases by 150,000 tonnes on average. This reduction would be equivalent to removing 30,000 cars from the road for one year, according to Royal Canin and Soil Capital.

“Transformation of today’s agricultural systems and global supply chains is critical to tackling the climate emergency,” said Cécile Coutens, global president at Royal Canin. “Farming in a different, regenerative way is one of the tools we must use to both reduce emissions and improve livelihoods for the farmers in our supply chains.”

The partnership will focus on reducing greenhouse gas and carbon emissions, improving soil quality and biodiversity, and other regenerative agriculture initiatives.Source: ©Soil Capital 2023

The initiative will roll out in France and Belgium later this year, with future plans to expand the program to other European countries.

“In order to drive the necessary transition to regenerative agricultural practices, farmers need to be both motivated and incentivized to change the way they farm,” said Chuck de Liedekerke, chief executive officer at Soil Capital. “Royal Canin’s latest initiative represents an important step in ensuring that farmers are supported to make this shift, in a way that succeeds in improving soil health and storing carbon.”

According to Royal Canin, the company is exploring similar partnerships in North America, Latin America and Asia. Investments made by Royal Canin and Soil Capital through the partnership will benefit Mars’ Sustainable in a Generation Plan, which aims to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions across the company’s entire value chain by 2050.

“To achieve our net zero commitments and protect the health of our planet, it is critical that we collaborate closely with farmers and support them to transition to climate-smart and regenerative agriculture,” Coutens added. “Royal Canin’s partnership with Soil Capital is an example of one of the many practical initiatives in action, which will make a huge difference to farmers and ultimately, help create a healthy planet where both people and pets can thrive.”

In October 2021, Royal Canin announced its commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2025.

Read more about sustainability efforts in the pet food and treat industry.