Nestlé Exploring Upcycled, Low-Carbon Fertiliser
Nestlé S.A. has begun pilot testing in the United Kingdom for a new sustainable agriculture solution that uses cocoa shells to create a low-carbon fertiliser.
The trial programme will examine how cocoa-based fertiliser affects wheat crop production, soil health, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over two years.
Currently, the use of conventional fertilisers is responsible for more than 50% of the carbon footprint of UK-produced wheat, in addition to nearly 5% of global GHG emissions when combined with fertiliser production emissions.
The low-carbon alternative could help establish a lower-emission supply chain that uses recycled ingredients from waste streams and result in a sustainable input for farmers at a reliable price.
“Farmers often find themselves to be among the first groups exposed to global issues, and these risks are then borne by the food system we all depend upon,” said Matt Ryan, regeneration lead at Nestlé UK & Ireland. “We have to find ways to build more resilience into the system, and optimising our use of natural resources is a critical part of this.”
Cargill will process the cocoa at its York facility to create ingredients for Nestlé’s confectionary brands, and the upcycled shells will be supplied for the programme. Following a successful pilot, Nestlé could introduce up to 7,000 tonnes of the low-carbon fertiliser to wheat farmers in its UK supply chain, equivalent to roughly 25% of the company’s fertiliser use for wheat in the country.
“This project is a small but very meaningful step toward a net zero future where farmers, local enterprises and nature all stand to benefit,” Mr. Ryan said.
The test is part of Nestlé's goal to reach net zero emissions by 2050, along with its commitment to source 20% of its key ingredients from regenerative agriculture practices by 2025 and 50% by 2030.
Source: Food Business News