Published on
March 13, 2024

Unilever partners with NatureMetrics to deliver regenerative farming practices across its supply chain

  • NatureMetrics will deploy its world-leading environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling technology in four critical locations across Unilever’s supply chain.  
  • Soil and insect biodiversity will be measured.
  • Work has already begun to establish baseline data across thousands of hectares in Argentina, Canada, the UK and Europe.
  • The partnership supports Unilever's regenerative agriculture programme designed to make farming climate resilient.
5
 min read
Contributors:
Unilever partners with NatureMetrics to deliver regenerative farming practices across its supply chain

Leading global nature intelligence company, NatureMetrics, has partnered with FMCG giant, Unilever, to support the delivery and measurement of its new regenerative agriculture projects. These aim to improve soil health, water quality and overall biodiversity across Unilever's supply chain, as well as enhance crop yield and enable local communities to protect their livelihoods and environment. Unilever uses around 4 million hectares of land to grow materials for its products, which are used by millions every day.

NatureMetrics, which supports companies to leverage biodiversity data for sustainable decision-making, will deploy its world-leading environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling technology in four critical locations across Unilever’s supply chain. Changes in bacterial and fungal diversity in the soil will be measured, as well as the diversity of above-ground invertebrate species. The data produced, combined with other biodiversity metrics, will provide clear insights to demonstrate the positive impact of regenerative farming practices implemented in Unilever’s supply chain.

Critical biodiversity data at the farm level

NatureMetrics has already begun to establish baseline data across thousands of hectares in Argentina, Canada, the UK and Europe. The business will support Unilever and its implementation partners across a five-year period to collect the best possible data, interpret the data, and understand which practices they need to roll out at a greater scale to deliver the most impact longer term.  

Unilever’s regenerative agriculture programme was launched with suppliers in 2022, following over a decade of commitment to sustainable agriculture, reaching hundreds of suppliers and thousands of farmers, to stop and reverse overall decline in soil health and biodiversity and make farming truly climate resilient.  

Since then, Unilever has set up several projects designed to implement regenerative agriculture practices, and protect and conserve natural ecosystems, addressing the challenges and unique needs of different crops and landscapes, and engaging and supporting the farmers and smallholders that are vital to the maintenance of these environments to deliver meaningful impact at a farm level.

As part of this programme, Unilever has partnered with several industry-leading companies like NatureMetrics to help projects measure specialist metrics and determine their impact.  

Tom Ludwig, Head of Onshore Industries at NatureMetrics said: “The beauty of the data we capture using our technology is that it’s a common language multiple stakeholders across a supply chain can use. It will not only support Unilever’s regenerative agriculture programme at a high level, but also empower its suppliers, implementation partners and farmers with critical information at a farm level. Only by bringing every stakeholder along on the journey can meaningful impact be delivered, and we’re proud to be at the heart of that with this partnership.”

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