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Heineken achieves milestone with first European regenerative barley harvest

June 8, 2024
Consumer Packaged Goods

Heineken has achieved a significant milestone with the completion of its first large-scale regenerative agriculture barley harvest in Europe.

The initiative, developed through Heineken’s Transitions programme and in collaboration with French cooperative Vivescia and its malt subsidiary Malteurop, represents the company’s first foray into regenerative farming at scale.

“This large-scale regenerative agriculture programme represents a unique cooperation between the plant and grain sectors, upstream and downstream partners,” Heineken said in a statement.

Under the programme, around 200 Vivescia member farmers in northeastern France, encompassing approximately 25,000 hectares of land, have adopted regenerative farming practices focused on improving soil health, biodiversity, climate and water resources.

By 2025, Heineken expects 500 farmers to be involved, growing to as many as 1,000 or more (up to 100,000 hectares) by 2026. The brewer plans to purchase most of the barley production from participating farmers to support its goal of reducing scope 3 emissions from agriculture by 30% by 2030.

“This programme will help the growth of regenerative farming, introducing a groundbreaking model for sustainable grain production,” Heineken said.

The initiative stands out for its scale, industry-led approach and holistic, outcome-based focus on key sustainability metrics such as carbon, soil, water, air, biodiversity and farmer livelihoods.

“By removing financial and technical barriers, this programme will help the growth of regenerative farming, introducing a groundbreaking model for sustainable grain production,” the company added.

The successful first harvest marks a significant step forward for Heineken’s sustainability efforts, as the brewer seeks to drive positive environmental and social impacts across its agricultural supply chain.

By Sian Yates


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