Tate & Lyle, one of 12 honourees to be celebrated, was recognised by the organisation’s Awards and Recognition Committee for its sustainable agriculture program, first established in 2018. The program remains Field to Market’s largest registered Continuous Improvement Project to date. Demonstrating progress in scaling conservation on the ground, the Tate & Lyle Sustainable Corn Innovation Project was recognised for its support of over 1,700 farmers on 1.5 million acres of sustainable agriculture in the U.S., equivalent to the corn Tate & Lyle buys globally each year. Of those enrolled in the program nearly 90% are sharing data with the value chain.
Operated in partnership with Truterra, the sustainability business of Land O’Lakes, Inc, and supported by some of Tate & Lyle’s largest food and beverage customers, the program helps farmers to more effectively target and measure the impact of conservation practices. Leveraging the Truterra™ Insights Engine data collection platform, which integrates Field to Market’s sustainability metrics, farmers are able to access insights on 100% of their enrolled acres, giving them full visibility and taking the guesswork out of changing their farming practices.
Despite the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, results on acres continuously enrolled between 2019-20 show that farmers were able to achieve modest reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and modest improvements in soil quality and advanced nitrogen use efficiency.1,2 These results show interim, directional improvement which Tate & Lyle continues to support and encourage.
Since the start of the year, five conservation agronomists have been placed on the enrolled acres in the Tate & Lyle program, in collaboration with the Truterra ag retailer network, NGOs and several customers, to help participants to accelerate change on the ground.3
“We’re proud to be recognised by Field to Market for our collaboration,” said Anna Pierce, Tate & Lyle Director of Sustainability. “Driving change on such a large scale, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, with every business and farming family facing unforeseen disruption, has been a challenge, with farmer outreach that much harder to do. That the vast majority - 86% - of farmer participants remain active members in our program speaks to the value they see in its ability to help them make better informed decisions that can help them secure a sustainable future for generations to come. We congratulate our farmer partners on their steady progress and are excited to connect them with additional expert support over the coming years to accelerate change.”
Notes to editors
1. The first set of year-on-year results from the program, on 1.24 million retained acres continuously enrolled 2019-2020, are as follows:
- Greenhouse gases were reduced by 2%; the equivalent of removing 2,430 cars from the road in one year.
- Soil quality has improved slightly as measured by the Soil Conditioning Index, while topsoil erosion reduced by 1%.
- Nitrogen use efficiency continues to be considered advanced within the industry at 0.93 pounds of Nitrogen per bushel; a 1% increase from 2019.
2. Through this first-of-its kind program, data on continuously enrolled acres is collected, which provides tangible evidence of progress being achieved on the same area of land over a certain period, in contrast to the industry standard methodology of volume proxy.
The program’s fully transparent approach is made possible by collecting 100% of the data on each acre through cutting edge technology – the Truterra™ Insights Engine - which enables Tate & Lyle and its customers supporting the program to track enrolment of the acres and monitor progress.
3. A conservation agronomist or crop scientist is an expert in new and more sustainable techniques for agriculture production.
For more information contact:
Senior Manager, Global Corporate PR, Tate & Lyle
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