What’s the (Soil) Matter, Danone?

Feb 4, 2022

Danone North America sure is milking its soil health program.

The company launched the program in 2017 to improve organic matter in soils. As the fourth year of the five-year initiative wraps up, the company has seen progress toward goals like increasing carbon sequestration, decreasing chemical use, and enhancing soil water holding capacity.

The program’s aim is to improve long-term economic resiliency on dairy farms through regenerative soil practices—which, in turn, Danone hopes will help them achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

The proof is in the… yogurt: The program includes more than 140,000 acres on U.S. and Canadian farms that supply milk for brands like Oikos, Two Good, Horizon Organic, and more. Through the regenerative soil health practices, the program has:

  • Reduced almost 119,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent and sequestered more than 31,000 tons of carbon.
  • Prevented erosion of more than 337,000 tons of soil, which has saved farmers from ~$3.3M in losses.
  • Encouraged biodiversity on more than 1,700 acres.
  • Increased use of soil moisture probes by 55% in the program’s fourth year.

Measure what matter: The company launched a digital benchmarking tool for farmers called R3 (robust, resilient, reliable). In partnership with Sustainable Environmental Consultants (SEC), the tool helps farmers measure and predict the impact of regenerative practices like no-till farming and planting cover crops.