Regenerative agriculture has the potential to meet our world’s future food needs while also serving as a huge carbon sink, but the additional upfront costs make some farmers wary of adopting these sustainable practices. Now, major agricultural company McCain has committed to implementing regenerative practices across all 370,000 of its growing acres by 2030.
McCain is the UK’s largest producer of frozen potato products. In addition to regenerative practices, the company will also transition to 100 percent renewable energy for its operations by 2030. McCain’s chief executive Max Koeune says, “The largest challenges we face are related to climate change. It’s estimated that a quarter of man-made carbon emissions come from the production of food, and if we have to grow more food to feed more people, that will only intensify.”
To ensure this transition, the company has created a £25m fund to reward farmers it buys from for implementing regenerative practices. McCain farmers will be trained in techniques for soil improvement and water conservation such as field and crop rotation which maintains the nutrient content of the soil.
According to McCain’s sustainability report, the company reduced CO2 emissions by six percent last year and cut water use in water-scarce regions by five percent. More of their future commitments include sending zero waste to landfills, removing palm oil from all branded products, making all packaging recyclable, reusable, or compostable, and donating 200 million meals to global food banks by 2025.