PepsiCo plans to cut carbon emissions and water usage across the farming of its core crops in the UK by 50%

PepsiCo plans to cut carbon emissions and water usage across the farming of its core crops in the UK by 50%

PepsiCo has announced plans to cut carbon emissions and water usage among its farming partners in the UK and Ireland by 50% over the next five years.

In its first 'Sustainable Farming Report' published today (19 October), the parent company of Quaker and Tropicana juice has detailed a number of initiatives including new i-crop 'precision farming' technology, trials of low-carbon fertilisers, and plans to replace around 75% of PepsiCo UK's current potato stock with varieties that will "significantly" improve yields and decrease wastage.

Richard Evans, president of PepsiCo UK and Ireland, said: "Farming is in the DNA of our business - we rely on British produce every day and sustainable agriculture is essential to our future. In partnership with our 350 UK farmers, I'm confident that we will realise our aim to reduce carbon emissions and water used in farming by 50% over the next five years."

I-crop, a web-based crop management system, uses a computer programme for measuring carbon emissions on the farm. PepsiCo believes it will enable farmers to "monitor, manage and reduce" their water use and carbon emissions more "efficiently and effectively".

PepsiCo is currently trialling i-crop in 22 UK farms. It will be rolled out across all off its UK farm partners in 2011.

Andrew Clark, head of policy services of the UK National Farmers Union, said: "We are well aware of the need to produce more food with less environmental impact. Only a long-standing partnership between PepsiCo and its growers will deliver the 50-in-five target by investing in new ways of growing and storing crops to achieve this goal."

PepsiCo this month said it will place more emphasis on producing products backed by science. It announced plans to create a nutrition business unit to develop new products in a series of drinks categories.