Two more industrial agriculture behemoths collaborate to help farmers worldwide transition to regenerative agriculture

On September 21, 2022, Bayer announced a groundbreaking regenerative farming collaboration with Perdue AgriBusiness aimed at large-scale carbon emission reductions and creating a model for a more sustainable food value chain spanning across Perdue’s entire grain network.

The collaboration – a first-of-its-kind under Bayer’s new ForGround platform – leverages the strengths and scale of both organizations to create a blueprint for businesses to assess their carbon footprint and rapidly scale up their ability to reduce Scope 3 emissions.

Through the collaboration, Bayer and Perdue AgriBusiness, the international agricultural products and services business of Perdue Farms, are creating additional opportunities to help support farmers on their regenerative agriculture journey, benefiting their land and helping them produce more environmentally friendly foods and ingredients for businesses and consumers.

It’s great that regenerative agriculture is moving out of the niche category, where it can’t significantly improve our planetary future. But we have to be alert for greenwashing with large firms, especially these two. Bayer now owns the world’s most hated company, Monsanto, the result of what will likely go down in history as the dumbest corporate acquisition ever. And Perdue is reportedly a notorious polluter (such as Chesapeake Bay) with some of the nation’s most inhumanely-run chicken farms.

As always with corporate announcement regarding regenerative agriculture, we hope that their approach will be true regenerative agriculture, which helps restore local watersheds and biodiversity while rebuilding topsoil (as originally documented in to the 2002 book, The Restoration Economy) , and not just a greenwashing campaign focused on just a few aspects of regenerative agriculture, such as no-till, which can sometimes lead to greater use of herbicides when improperly practiced.

While farmers provide nourishment for billions of people, agriculture accounts for nearly one-quarter of all worldwide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (according to the IPCC).1 Acknowledging that the solution to this global problem is too large for any one company, industry, or entity to solve, Bayer and Perdue have come together as industry leaders and innovators to begin paving the way for a more sustainable agriculture future.

Today’s announcement represents a great milestone for our company, and ForGround, as we continue to shape the future of agriculture and drive global-scale change,” said Leo Bastos, Head of Global Commercial Ecosystems, Bayer CropScience.

The strengths of Bayer and Perdue, combined with our leading positions in agriculture, allow us to push new boundaries that can not only drive impact in our own organizations but can become scalable to others across the agricultural industry and beyond,” he added.

Back in August, Bayer announced ForGround, a digital marketplace that helps farms of all sizes more easily make the transition to regenerative farming practices and supports businesses in the agrifood value chain lower their Scope 3 GHG emissions.

Through this ForGround collaboration, Bayer and Perdue demonstrate how companies can create a mutually beneficial model that supports and incentivizes farmers interested in sustainable practices while reducing the companies’ own carbon footprints.

  • Farmers who supply grain to Perdue may be compensated for tracking their carbon footprint and gain access to all ForGround benefits including science-based agronomic support, a free subscription to Climate FieldView™ Plus2, and cost savings such as equipment rebates, agronomic tools, and service discounts.
  • In addition, through ForGround, Perdue grain farmers may be eligible for additional incentives tied to adopting regenerative farming practices, with tailored support to meet each farmer wherever they are on their own regenerative agriculture journey.
  • The emission reductions achieved through the regenerative farming practices adopted by Perdue grain farmers improve the sustainability of the value-added foods and ingredients that are used to produce Perdue’s portfolio of products.

The program is focused on enrolling farmers who supply Perdue with corn or soybeans. The goal is to first understand their carbon footprint and then identify the best path to lower the greenhouse gas intensity of the grains the farmers produce through the adoption of regenerative farming practices – in turn, improving the sustainability of the ingredients and foods produced with those grains.

By taking concrete steps to decarbonize our supply chain, this collaboration with Bayer is an example of Perdue’s continued commitment to environmental sustainability,” said Perry Aulie, Senior Vice President of Value-Added Products for Perdue AgriBusiness.

We’re constantly seeking additional avenues for our farmers to get credit for their hard work, and this new program offers opportunity for both incentive and impact for these important stewards of the land,” he continued.

Based on the broad scale of Perdue’s commodity sourcing network, the collaboration has the potential to take over one million metric tons of CO2e a year out of the atmosphere and sequester it in the ground.3 If achieved, this would counter-balance the greenhouse gas emissions from over one billion pounds of chicken4, or the equivalent of approximately 200,000 vehicle emissions.5

This collaboration is the first example of our ability to create a program within our ForGround platform to meet the needs of our business customers,” concluded Bastos. “Through our size and scale, Bayer is uniquely positioned to help companies achieve their sustainability goals – and get farmers rewarded for their sustainable farming efforts.”

Enrollment will be available for Perdue grain farmers starting this fall.

Photo of farm in Switzerland by andrea candraja from Pixabay.

Learn more about enrolling in ForGround.

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