McCain Foods has released a document outlining its regenerative agriculture goals for growers and how progress will be measured, a June 8 news release said. McCain made a pledge in 2021 that all potatoes used by the company by 2030 would be grown using regenerative agricultural practices.
The framework was developed in collaboration with a range of stakeholders including McCain’s grower advisory board, scientists, agronomists, independent experts, and academia. It defines McCain’s core principles of regenerative agriculture and maps out how the company will measure the adoption of the practices, the release said.
“It is key that our farmers understand what is expected of them, with the assurance that we will be there to support them on every step of this journey and that it makes economic and agronomic sense,” Philippe Thery, global chief agriculture officer for McCain Foods, said in the release.
The seven indicators in the framework are:
- Armoured soils, preferably with living plants
- Enhanced crop diversity
- Minimized soil disturbance
- Reduced toxicity of pesticides
- Enhanced farm and ecosystem biodiversity
- Reduced agro-chemical impact and optimize water use
- Increased soil organic matter
Each indicator has four levels: onboarding, beginner, master, and expert. For growers to enter at the onboarding level they must receive training, complete a soil health assessment and at least one of the beginner indicators of their choice. To progress from there, they must meet five of the seven indicators to move on.
The release noted McCain will partner with growers and support them throughout the process. The full framework can be viewed online here.