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Issue 01/05

Create
a
food
supply
chain
that
fights
climate
change
and
protects
biodiversity

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Why it matters

33%
of the planet’s soils have been degraded by erosion, salinization, compaction, acidification and chemical pollution1.
Regenerative agriculture as a solution for the future

In its never-ending quest for higher productivity, agriculture has become so intensive that one-third of the world’s soils are degraded2, cultivated biodiversity has been reduced to some 15 plant species3, and farms account for a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions4. We need a new paradigm. The sine qua non for this transformation is to restore the health of soil through Regenerative Agriculture and other practices that increase its carbon content. This will position us to fight climate change and provide sustainable food sources for the 10 billion people who will live on Earth in 2050.

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1 Soil are endangered, but the degradation can be rolled back, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), 2015
2 Status of the World’s Soil Resources, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), 2015
3 The State of the World’s Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) 2019
4 Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), 2015

24 %
of global greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture5.
Climate change: Urgent for everyone

The most important step towards making agriculture less carbon-intensive is to change farming practices. But farmers don’t live in a vacuum: their practices respond to the demands of big food companies, distributors and consumers. Which means everyone in the food supply chain must play a role in fighting climate change, from reducing their own emissions to promoting sustainable procurement to favoring short distribution channels.

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5 Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), 2015

<200
Of some 6,000 plant species cultivated for food, fewer than 200 contribute substantially to global food output6.
No farmers, no transformation

We can’t make the transition to regenerative practices without getting farmers on board. They know this change is essential to the future of the planet and our food system, even though it will need investment. All over the world, pioneers are showing us that Regenerative Agriculture is a model for the future. But the transition can be challenging and costly, and farmers can’t accelerate its pace without support.

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6 The biodiversity that is crucial for food and agriculture is disappearing by the day, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), 2019 

WHAT WE’RE DOING

Restoring soil health and protecting biodiversity

At Danone, we believe in agriculture that gives natural cycles room to regenerate. Restoring soils to health means increasing their carbon storage capacity, improving their resistance to drought and flooding, and helping to protect plant and animal biodiversity. We work directly with 58,000 farms, and we’re committed to supporting them as they transition to Regenerative Agriculture.

Our commitments
  • Improve soil health by promoting regenerative practices that increase carbon storage in soil.
  • Encourage farmers to rotate their crops, diversify nutrients, and plant hedgerows to limit pesticide use and restore biodiversity.
  • Help farmers reduce water consumption by 25% through better irrigation management.
  • Preserve water-related ecosystems, especially in water-stressed areas.

Leveraging agriculture to shrink our carbon footprint

We’ve committed to achieving “zero net emissions” for the entire Group by 2050. To reach this ambitious goal, we need to reduce our carbon footprint across the entire production cycle, starting with Regenerative Agriculture to boost carbon sequestration in soil. In 2019, we aligned our trajectory for reducing CO2 emissions with the “Paris Agreement pledge” to cap global warming at 2°C. Now we’ve gone further: under the Business Ambition for 1.5°C Pledge, we’ve committed to aligning with a cap of 1.5°C.

Our commitments
  • Offer consumers more plant-based options, which have a carbon footprint that is 2/3 smaller on average.
  • Accelerate the transition to Regenerative Agriculture.
  • Reduce our energy consumption by increasing use of renewable energies at Danone production sites, warehouses and offices.
  • Give consumers an opportunity to choose brands that are committed to shrinking their carbon footprint.

Supporting a new generation of farmers

We’ve always had strong, close ties to the farmers who supply us with milk, fruit, vegetables and other foodstuffs. And we’re especially proud of our relationships with smallholders, who will play a critical role in the agricultural models of tomorrow. In the past we’ve helped them improve production quality and survive price volatility, and now we’re supporting them through the transition to more sustainable practices.

Our commitments
  • Deepen our relationships with partner farmers to help them adopts new farming practices while keeping their operations economically viable.
  • Provide technical and financial assistance to ease their transition to a Regenerative Agriculture model.

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