PepsiCo, one of the world’s largest food companies, has announced new plans to support its 300 Quaker Oat growers with gaining LEAF Marque certification.
Over 300 oat growers will achieve LEAF Marque accreditation over the next two years, and will be encouraged to undertake regenerative agriculture practices.
Quaker Oats are grown and milled in the UK. Three-quarters of growers are within a 100-mile radius of Quaker Oat plant - Cupar Mill - located in Fife, Scotland.
LEAF Marque is an environmental assurance system run by farming organisation LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming), which requires farmers to take a new approach to deliver sustainable farming.
Through the principles of Integrated Farm Management, crops grown at LEAF Marque-accredited farms support improved biodiversity, soil health, water and air quality.
As part of the partnership, PepsiCo and LEAF will provide Quaker farmers with additional tools and support as they work towards becoming LEAF Marque-certified.
The organisations say this will help them embrace a more circular agriculture, and put health and sustainability at the centre of their operations.
The investment builds on PepsiCo’s existing progress in supporting more sustainable oat harvests across the UK.
Its Oat Growth Guide, launched in 2019, used over one million data points to provide growers with information to help optimise resources and improve yield.
Archana Jagannathan, director of sustainability at PepsiCo UK said: “We’re working to innovate and optimise the way our crops are grown to save water, reduce carbon emissions and improve soil health, among other benefits.
"The expansion of our partnership with LEAF is an important step towards helping us achieve our Positive Agriculture goals," she added.
"It’s an expansion of our existing efforts to embrace and pioneer regenerative British oat growing with our Quaker farming partners, supporting them to produce the best quality oats while protecting the earth.”
As the certification process progresses, the LEAF Marque logo will start to appear on packs of Quaker Oats from 2023.
Caroline Drummond, chief executive of LEAF added: “Our partnership with Quaker UK and all their British oat growers signals an important advancement of our shared sustainability commitments.
"We are immensely proud to be working together towards better, smarter and more climate positive farming solutions, delivered through LEAF Marque."