Campbell Optimizes Fertilizer Use to Improve Water Quality, Reduce GHGs

by | Jun 3, 2015

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Campbell Soup and its subsidiary, Pepperidge Farm, are working with Environmental Defense Fund to improve water quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by optimizing fertilizer use and improving soil conservation in the company’s wheat sourcing areas.

Agriculture is responsible for 10 percent of the nation’s GHG emissions, but using fertilizer more efficiently reduces emissions and improves water quality, without sacrificing yields or profits, EDF says.

Campbell’s sustainable agriculture programs work to drive improvement in five priority areas: greenhouse gases, water, fertilizer and pesticide reduction, and soil quality. The company is expanding its fertilizer optimization programs to 70,000 acres by 2020.

To achieve these goals, Campbell will partner with United Suppliers, a cooperative of locally owned and controlled agricultural retailers, to help deploy the Sustain platform in target areas in 2015, including Nebraska and Ohio.  Sustain, developed and deployed by United Suppliers in collaboration with EDF, combines a set of technologies, practices and products that improve nutrient use efficiency and reduce soil erosion while enhancing productivity.

The collaboration with Campbell is the latest initiative undertaken by EDF to eliminate fertilizer pollution as a major environmental concern. Campbell joins Walmart, Smithfield Foods, General Mills, and United Suppliers as collaborators in EDF’s Sustainable Sourcing Initiative that works with retailers, food companies, agribusiness, and growers to drive sustainable farming practices.

To date, the initiative has helped reduce fertilizer loss by an average of 20 percent on 750,000 acres across the US, while maintaining or increasing crop yields. EDF’s work has contributed significantly to the sustainable sourcing commitments connected to Walmart’s fertilizer initiative, which totals approximately 18 million acres.

EDF’s Sustainable Sourcing Initiative aims to drive improved fertilizer practices on at least half of US grain acreage by 2020.

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