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Today, Ceres and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) announce the addition of Target and Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), one of the world’s largest agricultural processors and food ingredient providers, to the AgWater Challenge. The two companies’ new water stewardship commitments were shared today at the Financial Times Water Summit in London.
Ceres and WWF first launched the AgWater Challenge in 2016 to encourage better water stewardship among the world’s most influential food and beverage companies. Target and ADM join the original seven participating companies — Diageo, General Mills, Hain Celestial, Hormel Foods, Kellogg, PepsiCo and Danone North America — which have made commitments to better protect freshwater resources in their agricultural supply chains. With the global food sector using 70 percent of the world’s freshwater supply, food and beverage companies play a major role in protecting water quality and quantity.
“As human demand for water grows — particularly for agriculture, the pressures on critical freshwater ecosystems also grow,” said Lindsay Bass, manager of Corporate Water Stewardship at WWF. “When companies like Target and ADM embrace water stewardship across their agricultural supply chains, they set the stage for others to follow. With more of the food value chain represented in the AgWater Challenge, participating companies can now better leverage, scale and build meaningful projects in the places that need it most.”
By adding a major food retailer operating in every U.S. state and a global food processing conglomerate, the AgWater Challenge significantly increases the acreage farmed with water stewardship in mind.
“We welcome Target and ADM’s new commitments to reduce their water impacts,” said Eliza Roberts, a senior manager at Ceres. “We encourage more companies to take action to go further faster in their efforts to preserve and protect freshwater resources for generations to come.”
As the first retailer to join the AgWater Challenge, Target’s commitments to improve water stewardship include:
“Participating in the AgWater Challenge is another example of how we’re working to strengthen the health and vitality of the communities where we live, the people we serve and the planet we all share,” said Jennifer Silberman, VP of corporate responsibility at Target. “These new commitments align with our goals of creating healthy ecosystems and improving sustainable water management.”
With a global value chain that includes approximately 500 crop procurement locations, 270 food and feed ingredient manufacturing facilities, 44 innovation centers and the world’s premier crop transportation network, ADM has made several time-bound, measurable commitments to address water quality challenges across its value chain, including:
“At ADM, sustainable practices and a focus on environmental responsibility aren’t separate from our primary business: They are integral to the work we do every day to serve customers and create value for shareholders,” said Alison Taylor, ADM’s Chief Sustainability Officer. “Everything we do starts with growers, and participating in the AgWater Challenge presents us with a great opportunity to influence growing practices and make a tangible difference in water conservation practices for years to come.”
As part of the AgWater Challenge, companies also pledge greater transparency about the success of commitments, their ability to drive more resilient production systems and positive impacts they have made in freshwater basins. Since committing to advance their sustainable water sourcing strategies in 2016, the seven original AgWater Challenge companies have made significant strides in engaging with farmers and suppliers across their value chains, sourcing responsibly and reducing their overall exposure to water risks.
Published Oct 16, 2018 6pm EDT / 3pm PDT / 11pm BST / 12am CEST