Regenerative Ag
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Unilever and Regrow Build Supply Chain Resilience Through Regenerative Agriculture

How Unilever and Regrow are scaling climate action

“The time for pilots is over. It is time to go big.”

- Lucas Urbano, Head of Regenerative Agriculture and Sustainable Sourcing at Unilever

The time is now

With less than seven growing seasons left to future-proof our food system and achieve ambitious corporate commitments to regenerate millions of hectares of farmland globally, the next frontier in agriculture is resilience. But, in order to build a pathway, we must accelerate and scale regenerative practices and reduce emissions.

Unilever is launching an initiative for the 2024 growing season aiming to contract 300,000 hectares for climate-smart farming programs, which provides a blueprint for Unilever to scale regenerative practices beyond pilot programs and build resilience across the value chain. The goal is to deploy 100 projects by 2030, increased from the nine currently in the field. Long recognized as a leader in supply chain management by researchers at Gartner, Unilever puts partnerships, data, technology and integrated strategies at its core. 

To achieve its goals, Unilever has assembled a team of project implementers and data partners, including Regrow Ag’s MRV, on the path toward 1.5M hectares regenerated by 2030.

The power of regenerative agriculture

Unilever’s brands have already seen the effects of climate change through crop instability and supply chain insecurity. For example, during the time following floods in France and drought in Canada, Unilever was unable to produce mustard in France last year. 

However, regenerative agriculture has provided the company with a proven path to resilience. Regenerative agriculture programs demonstrated proven impact – If not for a two-year regenerative agriculture program in place, Unilever would have faced 40% shortages and yield loss due to drought in Spain (as presented by a Unilever representative at Bloomberg Sustainable Business Summit).

Now, Unilever is working with Regrow to scale regenerative practices and impact.

Regrow + Unilever

Regrow will provide measurement, monitoring and reporting for projects within Unilever’s rapeseed supply chain across Canada and Europe, in partnership with project implementers PUR Project and Livelihoods Fund.

The power of Unilever’s billion-dollar brands are key to expanding the company’s early efforts in regenerative agriculture. Knorr, its soups and flavorings brand, is backing 50 new projects estimated to reduce emissions and water use by 30%, while improving biodiversity, soil health and farmer livelihoods. Knorr has a history of supporting sustainability–a recent campaign highlighted the effects of food production and consumption on our ecosystems and dared consumers to eat differently.

Unilever is also innovating ways to determine supplier emissions data powered by Regrow data. That means moving from generic emissions factors to localized, supplier-specific data that reflects the impact of intervention, starting with its Iowa Soy supply chain for Hellmann’s mayonnaise.

Since 2018, Hellmann’s has been working with Practical Farmers of Iowa, PepsiCo and soybean supplier ADM to work with 716 farmers to implement cover crops on 52,000 hectares of farmland.

With Unilever’s iconic brands behind the initiatives and a partnership ecosystem to take regenerative agriculture further faster, scale is in sight.

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