Walmart Unveils Global Sustainable Agriculture Goals
today launched its new global commitment to sustainable agriculture
that will help small and medium sized farmers expand their
businesses, get more income for their products, and reduce the
environmental impact of farming.
The initiative also seeks to strengthen local economies while
providing customers around the world with long-term access to
affordable, high-quality, fresh food.
“More than 1 billion people around the world rely on farming and
hundreds of millions of them live on less than $2 a day,” said Mike
Duke, Walmart president and CEO. “Globally, with a booming
population, food production must increase roughly 70 percent to
feed 9 billion people in 2050.”
Duke continued, “Through sustainable agriculture, Walmart is
uniquely positioned to make a positive difference in food
production – for farmers, communities and customers. Our efforts
will help increase farmer incomes, lead to more efficient use of
pesticides, fertilizer and water, and provide fresher produce for
“Globally, with a booming population,
food production must increase roughly 70 percent to feed 9 billion
people in 2050” Mike Duke, Walmart president and
Walmart’s sustainable agriculture strategy is divided into three
broad areas, each containing specific supporting goals to help the
company track and report its progress.
Support farmers and their communities
More than a billion people rely on agriculture for subsistence.
By the end of 2015 in emerging markets, Walmart will help many
small and mid-sized farmers gain access to markets by:
- selling $1 billion in food sourced from 1 million small and
- providing training to 1 million farmers and farm workers in
such areas as crop selection and sustainable farming practices –
the company expects half of those trained to be women; and
- increasing the income of the small and medium farmers it
sources from by 10 to 15 percent.
In the U.S., Walmart will double its sale of
locally sourced produce and increase its purchase of select U.S.
Produce more food with fewer resources and less
Walmart has one of the world’s largest food supply chains and is
committed to reducing and optimizing the resources required to
produce that food and driving more transparency into its supply
chain. For the first time Walmart will ask suppliers about the
water, energy, fertilizer and pesticide they use per unit of food
produced. The goals include:
- accelerating the agricultural focus of the href=”http://walmartstores.com/Sustainability/9292.aspx”
target=”_blank” title=”Sustainability Index”>Sustainability
Index, beginning with a Sustainable Produce Assessment for top
producers in its Global Food Sourcing network in 2011;
- investing more than $1 billion in its global fresh supply chain
in the next five years; and,
- target=”_blank” title=”Zero Waste”>reducing food waste in its
emerging market stores and clubs by 15 percent and by 10 percent in
stores and clubs in its other markets by the end of 2015.
Sustainably source key agriculture products
Farming practices are having unintended side effects, from
deforestation of the world’s rainforests to increasing greenhouse
gas emissions. Walmart will focus on two of the major contributors
to global deforestation, palm oil and beef production.
- Require sustainably sourced palm oil for all Walmart private
brand products globally by the end of 2015. Sourcing sustainable
palm oil for our href=”http://walmartstores.com/AboutUs/275.aspx?p=246”
target=”_blank” title=”United Kingdom”>U.K. and U.S. private
brand products alone will reduce href=”http://walmartstores.com/pressroom/news/9668.aspx”
target=”_blank” title=”Greenhouse Gas”>greenhouse gas emissions
by 5 million metric tons by the end of 2015.
- Expand the already href=”http://walmartstores.com/pressroom/news/9223.aspx”
title=”Walmart Brazil Mobilizes Suppliers and Announces Sustainability Pact”>
existing practice of href=”http://walmartstores.com/AboutUs/259.aspx?p=246”
target=”_blank” title=”Walmart Brazil”>Walmart Brazil of
only sourcing beef that does not contribute to the
title=”Walmart Brazil beef traceability project”>deforestation of
the Amazon rainforest to all of our companies
worldwide by the end of 2015. It is estimated that 60 percent of
deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon is related to cattle ranching
To help reach these goals, Walmart’s global markets have also
established country specific commitments. For example:
- In target=”_blank” title=”Walmart India”>India, source 50 percent
of its fresh produce through its Direct Farm Program;
- In target=”_blank” title=”Walmart China”>China, upgrade 15 percent
of Direct Farm products from Green to Organic certified;
- In target=”_blank” title=”Walmart Japan”>Japan, reduce in-store
produce waste by 35 percent and increase the number of produce
farmers it sources from directly from 15,000 to 17,000; and
- In target=”_blank” title=”Walmart Canada”>Canada, purchase 30
percent of the produce assortment locally on an annual basis.
In the U.S., Walmart’s href=”http://walmartstores.com/Video/?id=1225” target=”_blank”
title=”Heritage Agriculture”>Heritage Agriculture program will
help the company double the sale of locally grown food. The program
focuses on sourcing produce from states and regions with long
histories of agricultural production.
Walmart’s largest Heritage Agriculture programs are in the href=”http://walmartstores.com/Sustainability/10378.aspx?p=9173”
title=”Agriculture and Seafood”>I-95 corridor along the East
coast, the href=”http://walmartstores.com/Sustainability/10378.aspx?p=9173”>Delta
region in the South and the href=”http://walmartstores.com/Sustainability/10378.aspx?p=9173”
target=”_blank” title=”Agriculture and Seafood”>Mid-America
region of the Midwest. Sourcing examples include tomatoes,
blueberries and broccoli in the I-95 corridor, peaches, cucumbers
and strawberries in the Delta region and potatoes, onions and
apples in the Mid-American program.
Walmart consulted with a number of suppliers, universities and
non-government organizations to develop these goals, including
World Wildlife Fund, Conservation International, Rainforest
Alliance, The Nature Conservancy, the Field to Market Alliance and
Environmental Defense Fund. Visit href=”http://walmartstores.com/”
title=”Walmartstores.com”>walmartstores.com for a full list of
Walmart’s global Sustainable Agriculture commitments.