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PepsiCo Plans to Revolutionise its Farming with New i-crop Technology

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PepsiCo Plans to Revolutionise its Farming with New i-crop Technology

PepsiCo Plans to Revolutionise its Farming with New i-crop Technology
October 27
11:38 2010

PepsiCo plans to roll-out globally its new i-crop farming technology that will enable the soft drinks and snacks group’s farmers around the world to monitor, manage and reduce their water use and carbon emissions, while also maximizing potential yield and quality. The web-based crop management system was developed by PepsiCo in conjunction with Cambridge University in the UK.

Trials of i-crop are currently underway at 22 farms in the UK, where PepsiCo has ambitious plans to reduce carbon emissions and water usage by 50% across the farming of its core crops in the next five years.

The technology will be rolled-out throughout Europe during 2011, with planned introductions in Holland, France, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Portugal and Turkey. The company hopes to take it to India, China, Mexico and Australia by 2012.

As one of the world’s largest food and beverage businesses, with brands including Quaker, Tropicana, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola and Frito-Lay, PepsiCo is a major investor in global farming. In 2010, the company announced 15 global goals and commitments to guide its work to protect the Earth’s natural resources through innovation and more efficient use of land, energy, water and packaging.

In the UK, the company is the largest purchaser of British potatoes and one of the largest purchasers of British oats and apples, using 100% British produce in Walkers crisps, Copella English Apple juice, Quaker Oats, Oatso Simple and Scott’s porridge.

“Farming is in the DNA of our business – we rely on fresh produce every day. Finding ways to produce more food with less environmental impact is essential to our future,” explains Richard Evans, president of PepsiCo UK and Ireland. “I-crop has the potential to revolutionise the way we farm, enabling our farmers to save costs and water and carbon consumption, while at the same time improving their yields.”

In its first ‘Sustainable Farming Report’, PepsiCo UK outlined how it is working in partnership with its 350 British farmers to reach its aim of ‘50 in 5’. Other initiatives announced include trials of new low-carbon fertilizers and plans to replace more than 75% of PepsiCo UK’s current potato stock with varieties that will significantly improve farmers’ yields and decrease wastage by 2015.

Commenting on the PepsiCo UK sustainable farming report, Richard Perkins, senior commodities adviser at WWF says: “The food industry is starting to recognize that in order to fully embed sustainability and biodiversity in its business practices, a large part of the focus must be on the agricultural supply chain. In this respect PepsiCo UK has taken a leadership role in recognising that it is, at its heart, an agricultural business. The focus of the business on improving its key environmental impacts, such as greenhouse gas emissions – in the field and on the farm – is most welcome.”

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