Kellogg Company announced a new collaboration with Walmart to support the livelihoods of rice growers and sustainable rice growing practices around the world. Kellogg Company President and CEO John Bryant made the announcement during the recent Walmart Sustainable Product Expo, a three-day meeting with eight of the largest U.S.-based food companies focused on expanding the availability of products that sustain people and the environment.
"As a grains-based company, we have a commitment both to the environment and to the people who grow those crops," said Bryant. "We are pleased to partner with Walmart in support of rice growers and rice growing communities around the world."
Rice is a staple food for more than half the world's population, and is grown by a number of smallholder farmers in several parts of the world. Today's rice crops are under pressure from climate change, as well as a contributor to climate change due to methane emissions from current growing practices.
"Because rice is one of our largest ingredient purchases – used for Rice Krispies® and Special K® worldwide – it's appropriate that our new partnership with Walmart focuses on supporting smallholder rice growers as they work to improve their methods – and with that their yields and livelihoods as well," said Bryant.
Specifically, Kellogg pledges to:
- Further support rice growers and rice growing communities to help smallholder rice growers advance their practices, while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.
- Commit to promoting and supporting initiatives with producers in every country in which Kellogg sources rice globally, that will, by 2020, lead to a 25 percent increase in the adoption of Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) practices. This will improve smallholder livelihoods, enhance producer resilience and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Monitor progress and impact using a number of metrics and align this initiative with the Global Alliance on Climate Smart Agriculture, which is to be launched later this year at the United Nations Secretary General's Climate Summit in New York.
The company is also involved in collaborative initiatives with growers, suppliers and external partners such as the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) to support sustainable rice growing practices globally.
"Our company has deep roots in sustainability and corporate responsibility," said Bryant. "We know that by furthering our commitments with rice sustainability, we have an opportunity to play a significant role in benefiting the planet even as we continue to enrich and delight the world through foods and brands that matter."