BATTLE CREEK, MI — More than half of the world's population relies on rice as a primary source of nourishment. Yet, rice production is responsible for an estimated 12% of total global methane emissions, a greenhouse gas that is 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide. In support of Kellogg's Better Days global purpose platform, Kellogg Company on Feb. 15 announced Kellogg's InGrained, a $2 million, five-year program that will partner with Lower Mississippi River Basin rice farmers to reduce their climate impact, ensuring benefits to people and planet are "ingrained" in our foods. Much of the rice sourced from this area is used in iconic rice-based foods like Kellogg's Rice Krispies and Kellogg's Special K cereals.
"Kellogg has established itself as a committed partner to farmers in implementing climate-positive agricultural practices in important crops like rice," said Steve Cahillane, Chairman and CEO, Kellogg Company. "We are proud to announce a new program to help advance regenerative practices as part of our Better Days ESG commitments to support 1 million farmers and workers and reduce scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions across our value chain by 15%, by the end of 2030."
The Kellogg's InGrained program will work with partners in the Lower Mississippi River Basin to reward rice farmers for the tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions they reduce, using a playbook of climate-positive practices adapted to their farms. In 2022, Kellogg will pilot InGrained in Northeast Louisiana in collaboration with leading agricultural GHG measurement firm Regrow, rice producers, Kellogg supplier Kennedy Rice Mill LLC, and agribusiness firm Syngenta.
The pilot will provide training opportunities in irrigation management, nutrient management and soil health to support farmers' transition to new practices, then reward farmers with US $20 per ton of GHG abatement their new practices achieve, quantified with Regrow's secure Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) platform. The pilot also has the potential to reduce irrigation water, an opportunity to conserve the region's water resources and reduce farmers' operating costs. Through InGrained, partners estimate a reduction of up to 51,000 tons of GHGs from the North American rice ingredient supply chain over the next five years. This reduction is the equivalent of taking more than 10,000 vehicles off the road. Feedback from participating farmers will shape and improve the program's implementation in future years.
InGrained is Kellogg's latest initiative in the global Kellogg's Origins program to build partnerships with farmers worldwide to support their climate, social and economic resiliency. Working with ingredient suppliers, research institutions and non-profit organizations around the world, farmers and workers in Kellogg sourcing regions receive training and technical assistance to improve farm productivity, regenerate soil health, protect species and habitats, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve their livelihoods in ways that protect and respect human rights. This effort and others like it are part of Kellogg's Better Days global ESG strategy, with a goal of creating better days for 3 billion people by the end of 2030. It focuses on addressing food security through the interconnected issues of nourishment, hunger relief and climate resilience.
"Kellogg's Origins has partnered with more than 440,000 farmers in 29 countries, helping to improve lives and communities," Cahillane added. "It is reflective of the principles our founder – W.K. Kellogg – an early philanthropist, conservationist and wellbeing pioneer."