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General Mills Makes Joint Commitment with Walmart To Protect Environment and Strengthen Agricultural Communities

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SOURCE General Mills

Collaboration will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and advance sustainable sourcing

MINNEAPOLIS, April 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, General Mills chairman and chief executive officer Ken Powell joined Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. president and chief executive officer Doug McMillon to announce a commitment to accelerate innovation in sustainable agriculture and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The announcement was made in Bentonville, Ark., at Walmart's first ever Sustainability Product Expo.

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Together, the two companies will bolster the work of Field to Market, a nonprofit organization dedicated to working across the agriculture supply chain to address the food demands of the rapidly growing population, while conserving natural resources.

General Mills and Walmart are both members of the Field to Market alliance for sustainable agriculture and have pledged to more than double the initiative's reach to 2.5 million acres by 2015.

"General Mills recognizes the importance of collaborating with others to address global challenges and pursue solutions to sustainability priorities," said Powell. "We share Walmart's strong commitment to environmental stewardship and are pleased to announce our collaboration to accelerate innovation in sustainable agriculture – which will improve the economic vitality of agricultural communities, increase productivity and protect the environment for future generations."

Today's announcement builds on General Mills' commitment to sustainable sourcing. In 2013, the company announced that it would sustainably source 100 percent of its 10 priority ingredients by 2020. These ingredients represent 50 percent of General Mills' total raw material purchases. Since nearly two-thirds of GHG emissions and 99 percent of water use occurs outside General Mills' operations, General Mills' focus on sustainable sourcing is helping the company tackle the areas of greatest environmental impact in its supply chain.

Through Field to Market, General Mills and Walmart work with growers to provide access to data that can help guide everyday decisions related to irrigation, tillage, crop rotation and nutrient management as they consider impacts on water consumption, water quality, land use, soil loss, energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

The commitment General Mills announced today with Walmart will further these efforts by:

  • Expanding 2.5x the acreage enrolled in the Field to Market sustainable agriculture initiative to 2.5 million acres by 2015.
  • Leveraging General Mills' strength in connected innovation to match grower nitrogen management needs with the best global solutions.
  • Co-sponsoring an innovation challenge for the innovators and farmers who demonstrate the most promise to reduce GHG emissions in nitrogen management. 

"With the big challenges facing our environment and agricultural communities, it's essential that we collaborate, which is what Field to Market is all about," said Jerry Lynch, General Mills vice president and chief sustainability officer. "General Mills has worked closely with farmers since the early 1900s. This close connection to agriculture is a large part of our company's history and one we depend on. We're excited to partner with Walmart to further accelerate this important work that will create long-term value for society, the environment, and business."

About General Mills

General Mills is one of the world's leading food companies, operating in more than 100 countries around the world. Its brands include Cheerios, Fiber One, Haagen-Dazs, Nature Valley, Yoplait, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Old El Paso, Wanchai Ferry, Yoki and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., USA, General Mills had fiscal 2013 worldwide sales of US $17.8 billion.

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