Tyson Foods has launched a partnership with US non-profit organisation Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) in an attempt to accelerate its sustainability initiatives.
Tyson – which owns brands including Jimmy Dean and Hillshire Farm – said the partnership will develop initiatives that support its sustainability strategy and help meet increasing consumer demand for more sustainably-grown food.
The partnership’s first project focuses on land stewardship and aims to pilot and scale agriculture practices on 500,000 acres of corn that reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), improve water quality and maximise farmer profitability.
Tyson said this will help it meet its land stewardship goal of working with farmers to improve environmental practices across two million acres of corn production by 2020.
The pilot will use cloud-based agricultural technologies from MyFarms and Farmers Business Network (FBN), both of which collect information on agricultural production practices. Insights from the analysis of that data will inform sustainability practices at the field level.
Justin Whitmore, executive vice president of continuous improvement and chief sustainability officer at Tyson, said: “Developing a sustainable food system is important to our business and the planet.
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“Joining forces with EDF enables us to bring together the best of our joint expertise in supply chains and sustainable agriculture and deliver value to growers, businesses and the environment.”
Jenny Ahlen, director of the EDF+Business supply chain programme, said: “If the largest US food company can prove the viability of farming practices that are good for the planet and for profits, it would be a game changer.
“We’re using scientific analysis to measure the benefits of sustainable farming practices, help companies like Tyson evaluate the impact of their sustainability initiatives, and inspire transparency across the supply chain.”