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Regenerative agriculture

Farmer picking crops in field

 

Our Net Zero Roadmap shows that nearly two-thirds of our greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture, so addressing these emissions is one of our main focus areas. One of the most important things we are doing is introducing the concept of regenerative agriculture – an initiative with incredible potential for helping address climate change and supporting communities and natural resources.


Advancing regenerative food systems at scale

20 %
50 %

What is regenerative agriculture?

Regenerative agriculture is an approach to farming that aims to improve soil health and soil fertility – as well as protecting water resources and biodiversity. Restoring soil health helps draw down and capture increased levels of carbon in soils and plant biomass. Healthier soils are also more resilient to the impacts of climate change and can increase yields, helping improve farmers’ livelihoods.

The main pillars of regenerative agriculture

  • Biodiversity
    We aim to increase plant and animal biodiversity above and below the ground. As one example, we aim to help restore critical ecosystems by planting 200 million trees by 2030 in the farms and landscapes we source from, such as shade and fruit trees in cocoa-growing areas. The aim is to contribute to improved soil nutrient cycles as well as farmer livelihoods and climate change resilience.
    increasing biodiversity
  • Soil
    We are helping to scale-up farming practices that help protect soil health and increase soil organic matter by launching regenerative agriculture initiatives through our Farmer Connect program, which works closely with up to 500 000 farmers and 150 000 suppliers as well as local communities.
    healthy rich soil
  • Water
    We aim to reduce chemical farm inputs and optimize organic fertilization, biological pest control and irrigation techniques.

    Protecting the quality of natural waters and stewarding water resources is essential to regeneration. We recognize the need to play our part in helping to protect, restore and renew water sources: in Nestlé Waters, our bottled-water business; throughout our agricultural supply chain and production operations; and in the communities where Nestlé has an impact.
    clean water
  • Dairy
    We aim to integrate livestock and optimize grazing in farming systems when feasible.

    Regenerative agriculture is also at the heart of our efforts to turn dairy into a net zero industry. Our work includes using silvopasture – where trees are introduced into areas used for livestock grazing – alongside mixed farming of livestock and crops, cover crops to protect soil and improved manure management.
    livestock on open pasture

Regenerative agriculture at Nestlé

We know that regenerative agriculture plays a critical role in improving soil health, restoring water cycles and increasing biodiversity. These outcomes form the foundation of sustainable food systems and contribute to achieving our ambitious climate targets. This is why Nestlé is investing CHF 1.2 billion by 2025 to spark regenerative agriculture across our supply chain. 

Our approach will always seek to put farmers at the center – supporting solutions that are right for their regions and crops. This is why our 500+ sourcing specialists and more than 4 500 support staff are assisting with the transition.

Our strategy begins with pilot studies at farms to validate new technologies and nature-based solutions. As pilots prove successful, we expand into reference farms of agripreneurs, or entrepreneurial farmers, in different countries and regions, as soils and climate requirements will differ. From reference farms we try to scale the approach to the larger agripreneur community, helping to further advance and improve their business models. We plan to roll this approach out at scale through our Farmer Connect program.

We are also encouraging industry alignment on common frameworks and metrics for regenerative agriculture.

A just transition

Regenerative food systems put people at the center. The aim is to provide resilient and fair livelihoods and dignified work that enable people across the world to support themselves and their families.

The path to regenerative agriculture is a long-term journey with challenges. This is why we will help farmers by offering investment, rewarding good practices and offering technical and scientific guidance. This, together with the respect and promotion of human rights, will contribute to a just transition to regenerative food systems.

We're working hard to support farmers through the transition to a regenerative food system, by:

  • Protecting and promoting human rights
  • Providing state-of-the-art science and technical assistance
  • Offering investment support
  • Paying premiums for regenerative agriculture goods
Man in forest mountains
Creating Shared Value and Sustainability Report