Walmart unveils global sustainable agriculture goals

by Redaktion (comments: 0)

Walmart has launched its new global commitment to sustainable agriculture that will help small and medium sized farmers expand their businesses, get more income for their products, and reduce the environmental impact of farming, while strengthening local economies and providing customers around the world with long-term access to affordable, high-quality, fresh food, Walmart reports.Walmart’s sustainable agriculture strategy is divided into three broad areas, each containing specific supporting goals to help the company track and report its progress.

Support farmers and their communities: By the end of 2015 in emerging markets, Walmart will help many small and mid-sized farmers gain access to markets by selling $1 billion in food sourced from 1 million small and medium farmers; providing training to 1 million farmers and farm workers in such areas as crop selection and sustainable farming practices -- the company expects half of those trained to be women; and increasing the income of the small and medium farmers it sources from by 10 to 15 %. In the USA, Walmart will double its sale of locally sourced produce and increase its purchase of select US Crops. Produce more food with fewer resources and less waste: For the first time Walmart will ask suppliers about the water, energy, fertilizer and pesticide they use per unit of food produced. The goals include: accelerating the agricultural focus of the Sustainability Index, beginning with a Sustainable Produce Assessment for top producers in its Global Food Sourcing network in 2011;  investing more than $1 billion in its global fresh supply chain in the next five years; and, reducing food waste in its emerging market stores and clubs by 15 % and by 10 % in stores and clubs in its other markets by the end of 2015.

Sustainably source key agriculture products: Walmart will focus on two of the major contributors to global deforestation, palm oil and beef production - require sustainably sourced palm oil for all Walmart private brand products globally by the end of 2015, and expand the already existing practice of Walmart Brazil of only sourcing beef that does not contribute to the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest to all of its companies worldwide by the end of 2015. Walmart’s global markets have also established country specific commitments. For example in India, source 50 % of its fresh produce through its Direct Farm Program; in China, upgrade 15 % of Direct Farm products from Green to Organic certified; in Japan, reduce in-store produce waste by 35 % and increase the number of produce farmers it sources from directly; and in Canada, purchase 30 % of the produce assortment locally on an annual basis. In the USA, Walmart’s Heritage Agriculture program will help the company double the sale of locally grown food. (Picture: Walmart China's team members display fruit and vegetables produced by farms that source directly to Walmart China stores)

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