17 major food manufacturers ranked on growing investment risk posed by use of pesticides
Published: December 7, 2021
Category: Pesticide News
As You Sow has released a second edition of Pesticides in the Pantry: Transparency & Risk in Food Supply Chains, examining the growing risk to food companies due to pesticides in supply chains.
The report scored 17 major food manufacturers on 28 indicators to measure their effectiveness in reducing pesticide risk and improving agricultural resiliency. While many companies are promoting regenerative agriculture practices, it’s evident that these efforts may be countered by continued reliance on pesticides, noted Christy Spees, the report’s lead author.
Out of a total score of 27 points representing new commitments to improvement, General Mills was highest (16 points), followed by Lamb Weston (15), Del Monte (14), and PepsiCo (14). Post and B&G Foods scored the lowest (0 points each) followed by J.M. Smucker (1 point).
Pesticides are the lynchpin of the industrial agriculture system, which is becoming increasingly fragile after decades of applying toxins to fields and crops. In the face of climate change, the system’s impairments are even more pronounced. In order to truly transform food supply chains, manufacturers’ investments in resilient agriculture must include mechanisms for reducing reliance on pesticides.
Pesticides harm human health (cancer, birth and development effects, liver and kidney disease, and more), create toxic waterways, and reduce biodiversity.
“For food companies, climate resilience requires investing in agricultural systems that restore ecosystems and soil health and dramatically reduce the use of toxic chemicals,” said Danielle Fugere, president of As You Sow.
The report also offers protocols for ways to discern “empty commitments” from “meaningful progress.”
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Organic & Non-GMO Insights December 2021