Working with farmers and applying comprehensive agricultural science to advance the state of sustainable agriculture
Campbell continues to work closely with the farmers who grow our agricultural ingredients to expand our sustainable agricultural practices and programs. We strive to reduce the impact that these practices have on the environment, while enhancing practices that benefit wildlife and promote biodiversity.
By promoting biological diversity through systematic crop rotation and preserving wetlands and natural drainage through habitat management, we reduce the effects of soil erosion, conserve water, and improve overall watershed management health. Through our involvement as a member of the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization's regional vegetable Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program, we are finding ways of improving our internal programs and extending our impact beyond our contract growers.
We have made significant advances in our sustainable agriculture efforts over the past 20 years. Campbell encourages better water management practices, including drip irrigation and retention basins to reduce runoff and conserve water. Our contract growers have implemented conservation tillage to reduce fuel usage and greenhouse gas emissions. Our researchers have developed disease-resistant varieties to reduce pesticide usage and have advanced environmentally friendly, integrated pest-management programs. Almost every effort has the potential to improve multiple areas of stewardship.
Changing climate is expected to have large and far-reaching effects on crop productivity as well as on pests and diseases affecting the cultivated crops. To address these changes, Campbell has teamed with the University of California at Davis (UC Davis) to use computer models backed by field experiments to identify optimal water and nitrogen use, and develop weather-based predictive systems for the key disease and insect pests for which pesticides are routinely used to create better IPM strategies.
Actions and Initiatives
Our goal is to be the sector leader in sustainable agricultural practices and Integrated Pest Management. We have established new long-term goals to reduce water use by 20% and energy use by 30% per pound of ingredient grown of our top agricultural ingredients — tomatoes, carrots, celery, mushroom, and jalapeño peppers — by 2020. Working with our largest suppliers and organizations such as the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, and continuing our close relationship with UC Davis, we are developing programs and practices that will help us and our contract growers meet these challenges.
In FY2010, we put renewed emphasis on this area to establish new performance baselines upon which to build future metrics.
Our Sustainable Agriculture Initiatives for FY2010 included:
- Supporting increased Integrated Pest Management and reducing synthetic pesticide usage
- Participating in Processing Tomato Foundation California water metrics group
- Focusing on processing tomato-water conservation
- Promoting tomato ingredient transportation fleet upgrades for improved mileage and GHG reduction
- Documenting and promoting ingredient plant energy conservation initiatives that reduce water and energy use per tonne of ingredient
- Driving improvements into our returnable bulk packaging reuse program