Riceland Foods Inc. and Nestlé Purina PetCare have announced that they are partnering on a new program to incentivize Riceland farmer-members in growing rice using sustainable practices. Purina is investing USD 1.5 million over four years.
Farming practices that qualify for the program include wetting and drying irrigation practices to cut methane emissions, or using a cultivation practice called furrow irrigated rice, row rice, or upland rice to reduce water use and methane emissions.
Adam Shea, Riceland’s Director of Sustainability, stated that the new partnership is on the path towards building momentum for Riceland’s Carbon Ready Program which Riceland is working on with Arva Intelligence. Arva will quantify carbon reductions associated with the new sustainable farming practices and provide the data for Purina to get greenhouse gas emissions credits and reduce the company’s overall emissions.
“The success of a program like this leans heavily on the partnership and their collective ability to bring value to the overarching goal,” Shea said. “As a farmer-owned cooperative, Riceland is uniquely positioned to connect sustainable impacts made at the farm level to consumers and end users.”
Jack Scott, VP of Sustainable Sourcing at Nestle Purina said, “This collaboration with Riceland and Arva Intelligence is another example of our commitment to both rice farmers and the importance of their agriculture stewardship in helping to make the world a better place. Sustainable rice is relevant to meeting market demands as much as meeting the bold environmental goals we set out to achieve, which includes a goal of Net Zero by 2050.”
“We are thrilled to be part of this partnership to promote our shared commitment to long-term sustainability,” said Jay McEntire, Arva Intelligence CEO, and co-founder.
“This is a ground-breaking approach to reward farmers for their tireless efforts to produce quality rice, as well as generate environmental benefits. Arva’s technology quantifies the environmental benefits from sustainable practices allowing Riceland members to supply Nestlé with carbon reduction benefits to meet their goal to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.”
The Riceland-Nestlé Purina PetCare Sustainable Rice Program will begin in 2023.