THE COOL SOIL INITIATIVE
Our relationship with Aussie farmers spans over 90 years. Over this time, we’ve built strong relationships with the farmers we source from, and they will continue to be a vital part of the business.
Each year we produce around 42 million kilograms of cereal out of the Botany facility here in NSW, and for those cereals, the vast majority are made with Aussie grown and sourced ingredients. This is why projects like the Cool Soil Initiative and investing in strengthening our Aussie farming systems for the long term are so important to us.
We’ve all seen the hardship that farmers and farming communities have experienced over the last few years – a one in a hundred-year drought, the horrors of the 2020 bushfire season and then to top that off, a global pandemic. It’s certainly not been an easy business to be in, but they keep going. Our farmers are without a doubt some of the most resilient folks out there.
In partnership with Mars Pet Care, Corson, Manildra, Allied Pinnicle, Charles Sturt University, Food Agility and Sustainable Food Lab, our investment in the Cool Soil initiative, alongside the other partners, is about helping our farmers to implement new practices that will help improve soil health. This is important because healthy soils lead to healthier crops and there’s also evidence that they lead to better water retention.
Our involvement with the Cool Soil Initiative means we can have a real impact on the ground, helping farmers to identify practices on farm that have a really tangible and meaningful benefit for their long-term viability and livelihoods. At the same time, the project will help us deliver on our commitment to reduce the environmental impact of our business in Australia by reducing some of the Greenhouse Gas emissions that happen on farm in our supply chain.
The Cool Soil Initiative also further strengthens our dedication to nurturing our planet as a whole, bringing us one step closer to our overarching sustainability goal of conserving natural resources all along the value chain – from responsibly sourcing ingredients and reducing food waste, to providing recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging.
Continued investment in our food supply chains is crucial and this has been reflected in the government’s recent investment in the Modern Manufacturing Strategy to drive local industry and scientific development post-Covid. The lessons from the Cool Soil Initiative could also be applied to other crops in Australia and globally – so there is a potential for an even greater impact from the project which is really exciting for our business and the agriculture sector.