General Mills invests $3 million to scale Eco-Harvest by ESMC

June 16, 2022
Eco-Harvest is Ecosystem Services Market Consortium’s market program that recognizes and rewards farmers for beneficial environmental outcomes from regenerative agriculture.

General Mills and Ecosystem Services Market Consortium (ESMC) announced a multi-year roadmap to scale Eco-Harvest. The roadmap focuses on priority regions in the U.S. and Canada where General Mills sources its key ingredients, like wheat, oat, corn and dairy. The initial $3 million investment from General Mills includes an ESMC grant to support the launch and development of Eco-Harvest and funds to scale regional programs. 

“As a founding member of ESMC, General Mills is proud to expand its partnership and reward farmers for the quantifiable impact they’re having on the environment by advancing regenerative agriculture,” Mary Jane Melendez, chief sustainability and global impact officer, General Mills, said in the announcement. “As a non-profit, ESMC gives us confidence that the greatest possible value will go to the farmers. Also, no other market program offers the same scientific rigor and outcomes-based protocols that ESMC delivers, ensuring the credibility of soil carbon removals or reduced greenhouse gas emissions for reporting. General Mills is inviting supply chain partners and other companies that source from these same regions to collaborate on this effort to have the greatest impact.” 

Eco-Harvest is a voluntary market program that generates and sells credits for increased soil carbon, reduced greenhouse gases and improved water quality. These credits represent verified environmental benefits created within agricultural value chains resulting from approved farm practice changes. Eco-Harvest supports General Mills’ commitments to advance regenerative agriculture on 1 million acres by 2030, reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions across its value chain (scopes 1, 2 and 3) by 30% by 2030, and ultimately achieve net zero emissions by 2050. 

“With our Eco-Harvest market launched, we are excited to partner with General Mills on our joint vision to scale regenerative agriculture outcomes from U.S and Canadian producers using our science-based, standards-based approach,” Debbie Reed, executive director, Ecosystem Services Market Consortium, said in the announcement. “We have spent more than three years building, testing, and refining our program. Now, we can scale impacts to not only pay farmers but also tap the interest from companies like General Mills, along with investors and consumers who are seeking transparent and meaningful actions.”