When I speak about our work in soil health, I will often see a head tilt with a questioning look. Why would a food company have any interest in soil? That’s when I take a step back and share that 99 percent of our food comes from the soil. Being a food company, the connection is instantaneously made.
We’re out to serve the world by making food people love. That means having a sustainable supply chain that can provide us with the best quality ingredients. Our business model, in short, is to take the output of Mother Nature and farming communities, transform it into products that are relevant for consumers to get the nutrition they need in the midst of their busy lives, and market it to them.
If Mother Nature and farming communities break down, our business model becomes much more expensive to operate and our ingredient supply at risk for being disrupted. There’s evidence that the agricultural portion of our business model is under a lot of pressure, whether it’s from climate change or operating cost pressure for farmers. So, we care a lot about ensuring Mother Nature can thrive today and for generations to come. And our consumers are caring about that more and more.
We have seen incredible benefits as we have worked on soil health over the last three years. It’s one of the few single levers in the supply chain that provides so many benefits. Whether it’s more resilient and profitable farms, carbon sequestration and lower greenhouse gas emissions, better water quality and quantity management on the farm, or more biodiversity on the landscape. We love all the positive outcomes that come with healthy soil.
At General Mills we are taking a holistic approach by investing across many categories and ingredients to advance our work. Some of our most impactful initiatives include:
Jerry Lynch has been the Chief Sustainability Officer at General Mills, Inc. since September 13, 2010 and its Vice President since 2010. Mr. Lynch began his career at General Mills in 1995 and has served in various marketing and commercial roles for General Mills around the world. Prior to this role, Mr. Lynch served as the Vice President of applied sustainability, where he led sustainability business integration and program development worldwide.