NEW YORK — Kind Snacks, a Mars, Inc. brand, has launched the Kind Almond Acres Initiative, a three-year pilot project that will help the company find out how to better source 100% of its almonds from orchards leveraging regenerative agriculture on a mass balance basis by 2030. The project builds off last year’s progress update about how the company is committed to sourcing 100% of its almonds from bee-friendly farms by 2025.
Kind said the Almond Acres Initiative will combine new technologies with the “best practices” from regenerative agriculture across 500 acres in California, where 80% of almonds from across the world come from. The company will use data and research from the project to determine which combination of practices can contribute measurable benefits to the soil, the farm and the planet. It also will use this data and research to help set environmental targets and communicate how Kind will reach its goal by 2030.
Kind chose the following practices for this initiative with its partner, Olam Food Ingredients (OFI), which owns almond trees on the project acres: blending five cover crops to develop soil structure, boost soil carbon levels, create pollinator habitats, and help the land better survive a changing climate; reducing an additional 20% of water for growing a pound of almonds by 2025; using 38 acres to test how whole orchard recycling affects soil health; determining if compost and biochar can expand the amount of carbon stored in the soil, cut down on the need for excess fertilizer and strengthen soil water retention; and collecting almonds off trees rather than from the ground to lower both soil disturbance and the amount of dust in the air during harvest, therefore improving air quality and carbon separation.
“OFI’s partnership with Kind represents a massive joint effort in regenerative agriculture,” said Zac Ellis, senior director of agronomy at OFI. “We are learning how to pair innovative sustainable technology with traditional farming practices, so we can find a combination that creates a positive change for the planet. Efforts like these leverage our global expertise to build a more sustainable way of farming almonds.”
As part of its sustainability commitment, Kind also said it has joined the California Water Action Collaborative (CWAC), a network of companies and nonprofits that work together to help California’s water security, and that it will work with UC Merced, a Hispanic-serving institution (HSI) and one of the most sustainable universities in the United States, to create the “Kind to the Planet” scholarship.