Regenerative agriculture is set to be the “most promising solution to reach our climate goals” according to the General Mills 2023 annual sustainability report

“We’re not looking for a checklist of things to do. It’s not just about strengthening one key ingredient, but about looking at the farm as a living ecosystem and looking to maximize its potential,” stated General Mills Chief Sustainability Officer, Mary Jane Melendez. 

General Mills has been educated by the farmers it sources its foods from, and they believe that their drive for regenerative agriculture comes from the outcomes they can produce. In 2022, GM adopted another 120,700 acres of regenerative land bringing their grand total to 235,000 acres. The overall strategy handed to all farmers differ depending on the region of land they are sourcing from, that's what brings beauty and creative thinking into the supply chain process. GM has also adopted recyclable and reusable packaging, reaching 92%, and their production operations use 87% of renewable energy. 

A Little Soil Background

Some of the adopted farming practices include–the addition of cover crops, and the reduction of tillage and fertilizer usage. To gain a better understanding–tillage is the preparation of the soil through mechanical procedures such as digging, overturning, and stirring. Cover crops are plants that reduce soil erosion; increase water absorption and biodiversity; help with pests and diseases; and halt the spread of weeds. 


“Spurring a biological interaction between crops” is another goal of GM that is being practiced by a separate project under the company. This is the process in which farmers plant two or more crops in the same general vicinity to promote biological interaction. These farmers were studying the growth and success of the closely planted crops compared to a single-crop field. Intercropping allows for more management among the crops, it uses natural resources more efficiently than single-crop fields, and it lowers the density of pests and weeds. 

When it comes to earning the label of regenerative farming and sustainability, many companies become confused on the clear definition and needed requirements. One way of solidifying due diligence is by verifying that their efforts are actually improving the land. General Mills has stated that they want to be able to quantify the biodiversity in their soil and detail the 'how' in which regenerative farming practices were responsible.  

All of these promises, goals, and public statements are great in setting future achievements for themselves and the planet, but are they actually fulfilling them? Or have they found a new practice to monopolize off of? With such a large corporation, genuinity can sometimes be blurred when it comes to topic conversations of product, practice, and revenue.