Sep 24, 2019
McCain, Nestlé join ag coalition for biodiversity

Top vegetable buyers McCain and Nestle, with 17 other food companies, are founding a new initiative supposed to encourage biodiversity in their supply chains and product portfolios.

The coalition, named “One Planet Business for Biodiversity,” or OP2B for short – was formally launched on stage at the United Nations Climate Action Summit by Emmanuel Faber, Chairman and CEO of the global food and beverage company Danone.

“The global food and agricultural ecosystem is critically dependent on biodiversity: from soil regeneration through to water filtration, pest control and pollination, among many of the other building blocks of life on earth,” Faber said in a press release from the newly-formed group. “According to many recent scientific studies, we have ten years to reset our course and bend the curve on climate change and wild and cultivated biodiversity loss.”

The nineteen companies sell products in more than 120 countries and have combined total revenues of circa USD $500 billion.

In addition to Danone, OP2B members include Balbo Group, Barry Callebaut, DSM, Firmenich, Google, Jacobs Douwe Egberts, Kellogg Company, Kering, Livelihood Funds, L’Oreal, Loblaw Companies Limited, Mars, Migros Ticaret, McCain Foods, Nestlé, Symrise, Unilever and Yara, according to the press release.

Max Koeune, CEO of McCain Foods, said in a statement on the OP2B website that McCain’s was committed to “the promotion of regenerative agriculture at scale,” and OP2B was a “strong platform” for many companies to work together.

“Nestle has for many years worked with farmers to mange their land sustainably and will continue to lead activities enhancing biodiversity,” said Nestlé CEO Mark Schnieder.

The group’s three areas of focus include:

    1. Scaling up regenerative agriculture practices to protect soil health.
    2. Developing product portfolios to boost cultivated biodiversity and increase the resilience of the food and agriculture models.
    3. Eliminating deforestation, enhancing the management, restoration and protection of high value natural ecosystems.

“Regenerative agriculture,” according to the group, includes “scaling up alternative farming practices that will leverage the power of plants to keep carbon in the soil (carbon sequestration), increase the capacity of soils to hold water, enhance the resilience of their crops, support the livelihoods of their farmers, and regain the nutrient density of food while decreasing reliance on synthetic inputs.” Biodiversity would include using a greater variety of food crops.

The group plans to develop by June 2020 a list of possible solutions to their goals, and disclose “ambitious, timebound and measurable” commitments by October 2020.

Above: PRNewsfoto/OP2B

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