PepsiCo testing reduced carbon fertilizers

by Keith Nunes
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PURCHASE, N.Y. — When PepsiCo, Inc. measured the carbon footprint of its Tropicana Pure Premium products it found the largest single source of carbon emissions, approximately 35%, was fertilizer use and application for the growing process. As a result, PepsiCo, in partnership with SMR Farms, Bradenton, Fla., is testing two alternative fertilizers to determine whether using either may reduce the carbon footprint associated with the agricultural production of oranges.

SMR Farms will test lower-carbon fertilizers produced by Yara International, Tampa, Fla., and ERTH Solutions, a subsidiary of Outlook Resources, Toronto.

“This pilot program is an example of how PepsiCo is working hand-in-hand with our suppliers to find innovative ways to make our agricultural practices more environmentally sustainable,” said Indra Nooyi, chairman and chief executive officer of PepsiCo. “As a company that relies on the Earth’s natural resources to make our products, we are keenly focused on reducing our carbon footprint wherever we can. If this test is successful, it could positively impact growing practices far beyond our business alone.”

The study will last up to five years to match the maturity cycle of orange trees. One outcome of the pilot may be blending the best components of each low-carbon fertilizer to create a superior hybrid solution with an even lower carbon footprint. PepsiCo will monitor early indicators of success with researchers from the University of Florida so it may expand the effort's successes to other growers and reduce the carbon in their systems, too.
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