The most important of these is to focus our efforts where we can have the highest impact. “Our 100% ambition still remains, and our predominant focus is on those materials where we have ‘line of sight to farm’, as we call it, and greatest buying power. This is where we feel we can most influence producers to adopt sustainable practices,” says Petronella.
This decision had led us to a list of 12 key ingredient categories to focus on, including all commodities such as sugar, palm oil, soy, cocoa, paper and board and tea. Collectively, these comprise about two-thirds of our total volume of agricultural raw materials, 88% of which are sustainably sourced.
To increase that influence, we will continue to work with farmers, suppliers, governments and civil society to promote sustainable agriculture and forestry systems beyond the boundaries of our own business needs. Global alliances such as the Consumer Goods Forum and the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform provide excellent platforms for doing this.
Collaborations with like-minded buyers are especially important. Take sugar. Back in 2012, we made our first purchase from Bonsucro, which represents sustainably certified sugar producers. Today, thanks to collective demand from hundreds of other buyers, Bonsucro’s certification stamp covers one-quarter of all land planted with sugar cane.
This collaborative approach will increasingly require us to work in new and even surprising ways. Our project with farmers in the drought-hit US state of Iowa offers a taste of what’s to come. Through this initiative, we are encouraging participating farmers to grow cover crops such as rye grasses or oats. For their main crops, these farmers tend to rotate between corn, which PepsiCo buys, and soy, which we buy. So, it makes sense to run the project together with PepsiCo – which is exactly what we are doing.