25 Oct 2010
Walmart announced new sustainable agriculture goals that include expanding to all of its companies worldwide by 2015 Walmart Brazil’s practice of only sourcing beef that does not contribute to the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest.The company did not expand on the new beef sourcing rules, adding only that it is estimated that 60 percent of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon is related to cattle ranching expansion.
The company also said for the first time it will ask suppliers about the water, energy, fertilizer and pesticide they use per unit of food produced.
“Through sustainable agriculture, Walmart is uniquely positioned to make a positive difference in food production -- for farmers, communities and customers,” Walmart President and CEO Mike Duke said in a news release. “Our efforts will help increase farmer incomes, lead to more efficient use of pesticides, fertilizer and water, and provide fresher produce for our customers.”
Walmart divided its new goals into three categories: produce more food with fewer resources and less waste; sustainably source key agriculture products; and support farmers and their communities.
Produce more food with fewer resources and less waste
In an effort to optimize the resources required to produce food and drive more transparency into its supply chain, Walmart said it will ask suppliers about the water, energy, fertilizer and pesticide they use per unit of food produced. Specific 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
Reducing food waste in its emerging market stores and clubs by 15 percent and by 10 percent in stores and clubs in its other markets by the end of 2015.
Sustainably source key agriculture products
Walmart said it will focus on two of the major contributors to global deforestation, palm oil and beef production, by:
Requiring sustainably sourced palm oil for all Walmart private brand products globally by the end of 2015.
Expanding 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.
Support farmers and their communities
Walmart said it 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
Increasing the income of the small and medium farmers it sources from by 10 to 15 percent.
In the United States, Walmart will double its sale of locally sourced produce and increase its purchase of select U.S. crops.
Walmart consulted with a number of suppliers, universities and non-government organizations to develop these goals. Among them were World Wildlife Fund, Conservation International, Rainforest Alliance, The Nature Conservancy, Natural Resources Defense Council, the Field to Market Alliance and Environmental Defense Fund.