As per a report published by a group that assessed the critical position of the environment in the U.S. industry, there’s a good possibility of corn growers facing pressure from corporates for growing crops that will be more sustainable.
The report stated that the producers of corn can face risk that includes water use in an unsustainable method, change in climate apart from “inefficient and damaging fertilizer practices.” This sends out threats to companies that depend upon these factors.
Ceres, a group of non-profit businesses, investors and many others who give support to business practices that are sustainable, stated that big food companies have started to request farmers for adopting practices for growing with reduced usage of fertilizers and more protection to water and soil.
Unilever, Coca-Cola and General Mills have set up goals for sourcing their important ingredients in sustainable ways (like sugar beets and corn) by the end of the year 2020.
The sustainability officer of General Mills’, Jerry Lynch stated – “Sustainability in agriculture is really important to us, as we think about production in the future and having to feed 9 billion to 10 billion people, and doing so on a finite planet with natural resources under a lot of constraints. We depend on agriculture and Mother Nature to run our business. As that starts to break down, our business becomes either very expensive or it could become nonviable.”
The Director of Ceres water program, Brook Barton explained how many other companies are going to follow suit. The report encourages retailers, feed companies and food processors to get sustainability goals set and get farmers to meet the set goals.
Ceres report also requested companies to get ready to collaborate with growers in order to provide real value and incentives for growers to make changes,” stated the report. The largest producer of corn in the country, Iowa’s stakes have been big. The value of the crop has been around $10 million the previous year.
Leaders stated that many of the growers have already begun to adopt practices that are conservative like cover crops, crop rotations and buffer strips development apart from various other forms of growing efforts.
A policy director from the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, Grant Menke said – “Corn producers are already making tremendous improvements.”
Production of Ethanol requires a great deal of corn. “We’re not saying we’ve arrived … but there are initiatives that only will provide greater improvements in the years to come.”
Generla Mills and Walmart are trying hard to decrease commodities that release carbon mills. Farmers will now be required to document their practices and submit them to departments from time to time.