Food Service & Agriculture, Manufacturing, and Sustainability

Food maker partners with Walmart on sustainable rice

May 16, 2014
TAGS Kellogg
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Food maker partners with Walmart on sustainable rice
Workers pick rice at a field in Thailand. Photo via wikimedia.org

A food maker is collaborating with Walmart to help support small rice growers and global environmental sustainability.

Kellogg Company in Battle Creek said last week that is has joined forces with Walmart to support the livelihoods of rice growers and sustainable rice-growing practices worldwide.

“As a grains-based company, we have a commitment both to the environment and to the people who grow those crops," said John Bryant, president and CEO, Kellogg.

Rice-production goals

Kellogg has made a commitment to work toward three major sustainability goals related to rice production.

The cereal producer will support rice growers and rice-growing communities to help smallholder rice growers advance their practices, while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

It has committed to promoting and supporting initiatives with producers in every country where Kellogg sources rice globally, which will, by 2020, lead to a 25-percent increase in the adoption of Climate Smart Agriculture practices.

This is expected to improve smallholder livelihoods, enhance producer resilience and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Finally, Kellogg said it will 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.

A food staple

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.

"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," Bryant said.

Rice is a food staple for more than half of the world's population and is grown by a number of smallholder farmers in several parts of the world.

Kellogg said 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.

The company is also involved in collaborative initiatives with growers, suppliers and partners, such as the International Rice Research Institute, United Nations Environment Program and the Sustainable Rice Platform to support sustainable rice-growing practices globally.

Palm oil

Kellogg also recently adopted a global commitment to work with palm oil suppliers to source fully traceable palm oil, produced in a manner that's environmentally responsible, socially beneficial and economically viable.

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