Enhancing biodiversity builds resilient food systems and economies

Supporting Biodiversity

“Biodiversity” describes our planet’s rich variety of life, from species to ecosystems. To produce the food we need to thrive, agriculture relies on diverse plants, animals, and even microbes in healthy soils.1 Over time, due to climate change, habitat loss, agricultural practices and other causes, biodiversity has deteriorated worldwide, and 1 million species are at risk of extinction within a few decades.2 Biodiversity appears in many ways in our food system, from the diversity of crops farmers plant, to wildlife habitat on farms, to thriving ecosystems. To maintain the health of our planet and our food systems, it’s important that we protect it.

Fortunately, nature and agriculture can serve as a tool to protect and restore the landscapes and species our communities need to flourish. Since 2015, Kellogg has helped more than 440,000 farmers, including smallholders and women, boost their yields and improve their livelihoods, while also enhancing biodiversity around the world. Much of this work takes place through more than 40 Kellogg’s Origins™ programs that help farmers implement conservation practices to support a regenerative food system for the future.

Origins programs with farmers in multiple U.S. states, U.K., Spain, Australia, and Madagascar encourage growing cover crops. Cover crops not only diversify the crops in farmers’ rotations, but also help to build healthy soils where microbes, earthworms, and other soil species can thrive. Diversifying crops can also support farmers’ livelihoods. As part of our three-year collaboration with supplier Olam Group to support cocoa farmers in Ecuador, 30 fruit trees and 20 native trees are for every hectare planted with new cocoa seedlings. This promotes greater agrobiodiversity on cocoa plantations and helps farmers create new sources of income.

Pollinators and wildlife
Supporting wildlife on-farm and growing healthy crops can go hand-in-hand, and we have promoted these practices in several longstanding Origins partnerships. For example, over seven years, Kellogg has helped rice farmers in Spain’s Delta Del Ebro region install 323 bat boxes, providing habitat for this natural pest predator and pollinator. In our work with wheat farmers in our UK supply chain, we began a pilot project to test whether planting wildflower borders and beetle habitats improves on-farm biodiversity, with 2020 goals to encourage natural pest predators and reduce pesticide use.

Protecting forests and ecosystems
Forests play an essential role in the global environment, supporting countless species as well as the livelihoods of more than a billion people3. Yet, since the industrial revolution, only 15% of intact forests remain4. Our Global Policy on Deforestation outlines how we’re combatting deforestation across our supply chain, including for palm oil, soy, and paper and pulp. Protecting ecosystems also informs our support for farmers.

As part of our vision for responsibly sourcing palm oil, we have developed an “Impact Incubator” to support smallholders and forest communities, in recognition that current certification and supply chain models have not been effectively inclusive of these groups. Through this incubator, we have partnered with Wild Asia as part of their Wild Asia Group Scheme (WAGS) in West Malaysia, enabling smallholder palm oil producers to protect forests and secure market access through RSPO certification and training in sustainable agriculture. In addition, as part of  our responsible sourcing goal for vanilla, we’ve worked with our supplier, Symrise, to train vanilla farmers in Madagascar in alternatives to slash-and-burn practices, which helps to protect ecosystems in one of the world’s biodiversity hot spots.5

Responsibly managing pests
Kellogg’s Origins™ projects in the U.S, U.K., Spain, Mexico, Ecuador, Argentina, India and Madagascar have directly trained farmers in integrated pest management, alternatives to synthetic pesticides, and other strategies to manage crop pests while minimizing impact to people and planet, including beneficial insect species. In 2020 and 2021, Kellogg partnered with the American Society of Agronomy to offer a free, five-part North American Integrated Pest Management training series to support continuing education opportunities in responsible pest management for Certified Crop Advisers across the region. In 2020, over 1,000 CCAs, and other trusted advisors to U.S. and Canadian farmers, joined the series’ first installment, Towards More Holistic IPM. And, since 2015, our Kashi® brand has also helped U.S. farmers transition more than 10,000 acres from conventional to organic farming though its Certified Transitional program. We continue to share best practices and results from these initiatives.

Find more details in our latest Responsibility Report and on the Positions, Policies, Milestones and Reporting page.