Environmental impact

In this section:

Pesticides, food safety and ecosystems health

Our business relies on the availability of safe, high-quality ingredients and the sustainability of the agriculture supply chain that provides them.

So, how do we make sure the ingredients we use are safe for you and produced in a way that’s good for the environment?

  1. Lead with Food Safety. Supplier management systems, inventory controls, and traceability programs are all part of our systematic approach to food safety. We freely share best practices and collaborate with industry peers and regulators to help raise safety standards industry-wide.
  2. Follow leading regulatory standards. Our practices and policies ensure that our products are safe and comply with regulatory limits. For example, in the U.S. the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets regulatory limits for pesticide residues in crops. These strict tolerance levels are enforced by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Similar procedures are in place in other countries, including through the World Health Organization and U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization’s Codex Alimentarius standards. We expect all ingredients we use to be produced in line with applicable standards.
  3. Advance Regenerative Agriculture. Our goal is to advance regenerative agriculture on one million acres of farmland by 2030. Our approach aims to connect principles of regenerative agriculture to outcomes across biodiversity, healthy soil, farmer economic resilience, and water. We encourage six key principles of regenerative agriculture that promote healthy soil and, long-term, reduce the need for applications of synthetic pesticides and fertilizer. For more on our efforts in regenerative agriculture, please see our latest Global Responsibility Report.
  1. Support expanded organic acreage through our Organic brands and products. General Mills’ family of brands includes Annie’s, Cascadian Farm, and Muir Glen. For organic ingredients, we purchase ingredients that come from certified organic farms, which follow strict standards limiting pesticide usage. Through our partnership with Rodale Institute, farmers in our organic fruit, vegetable, wheat and oat supply chains can receive free one-on-one mentorship and personalized coaching from trained agronomists. We also support the Organic Agronomy Training Service to provide trainings for agriculture professionals on how to help farmers succeed with organic farming practices
  2. Partner with leading biodiversity organizations. Thirty-five percent of crop production worldwide relies on pollinators such as bees, birds and butterflies. Diverse native populations of bees and other insects are a sign of healthy and productive ecosystems. Through a long-term partnership with Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, farmers in our organic supply chain can receive customized planning and on-site support to enhance pollinator populations, beneficial insects, and soil life on their farms.