Launched in August 2021, the PAO Fund offers PepsiCo market teams co-investment to accelerate diverse and innovative 'Positive Agriculture' projects, the company noted.
One of the pillars of the company's pep+ (PepsiCo Positive) agenda, Positive Agriculture supports the company's aim to source crops and ingredients in a way that accelerates regenerative agriculture and strengthens farming communities across the world.
The investments are aimed at accelerating the development of innovative technologies and approaches that can help scale the implementation of regenerative agriculture practices.
Rob Meyers, vice-president of Global Sustainable Agriculture at PepsiCo, commented, "We're in a race to reach the world's 1.5 degree target and, to do our part, PepsiCo has set a range of ambitious PepsiCo Positive goals, including expanding regenerative agriculture practices and building the resilience of those in our agricultural supply chain by preparing them for a changing climate.
"Reaching PepsiCo's – and our planet's – goals will require fresh thinking and innovation from our agriculture teams and partners all over the world, which is why the PAO Fund was created to make it a bit easier for good ideas to get off the ground."
Global Agriculture Accelerator
This year, the PAO Fund is focusing on projects that span a range of commodities, supply chains, time horizons and PepsiCo business units.
However, all projects are aimed at either testing new regenerative technology or approach, or developing new sustainable 'landscapes'.
Across 2021 and 2022, the PAO Fund catalysed PepsiCo investments in over 20 different projects, estimated to amount to more than $27 million through 2026, the beverage giant added.
"With support from the PAO Fund, we've been able to generate much greater engagement and innovation both at the farm level and through closer collaboration with our global teams," said Haseeb Malik, senior manager of agriculture AMESA, PepsiCo.
"This work is not only helping to advance our pep+ goals in the market, but it's also meaningfully improving the lives of the farmers we're working with."
By 2030, PepsiCo aims to extend regenerative farming practices to 7 million acres of farmland, improve the livelihoods of more than 250,000 people in its agricultural supply chain, and sustainably source 100% of its key ingredients.
Digital Video Series
PepsiCo has also launched a four-part digital video series, Growing Our Future, highlighting its initiatives in regenerative agriculture.
The series includes PepsiCo's work with farmers in Thailand to help them adapt to climate change and how farmers in Greece are adopting more efficient irrigation systems to adapt to increased drought.
It also showcases PepsiCo's partnership with farmers in Punjab, India, to develop kilns that turn agricultural waste into fertiliser, and its efforts in supporting research in Brazil to help potato farmers improve soil health.