PepsiCo issues challenge to crop farming

19 Oct 2010

An agricultural revolution could be under way as PespiCo UK and Ireland announce the rollout of its web-based crop-management system.

PepsiCo UK and Ireland announced on Tuesday that there will be a global rollout of its web-based crop-management system, which it hopes will help farmers reduce reduce water use and carbon emissions.

The new web-based crop-management system, i-crop, is currently being developed with Cambridge University, according to the company, and trials are under way at a number of UK farms. PepsiCo hopes it will reduce water use and carbon emission output by around 50pc over the next five years.

Crop-management system

The i-crop will enable PepsiCo’s farmers around the world to monitor, manage and reduce their water use and carbon emissions, while also maximising potential yield and quality, the company said.

PepsiCo’s interest in global farming is no coincidence as the company is one of the world’s largest food and beverage businesses, with brands such as Walker’s Crisps, Tropicana, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola and Frito-Lay to its name.

Richard Evans, president of PepsiCo UK and Ireland, said: “Farming is in the DNA of our business – we rely on fresh produce every day. Finding ways to produce more food with less environmental impact is essential to our future … i-crop has the potential to revolutionise the way we farm, enabling our farmers to save costs and water and carbon consumption, while at the same time improving their yields.”

PepsiCo’s i-crop is earmarked for full scale release in 2011 with Chinese, Mexican and Australian markets set to have access to the technology by 2012.

They are also conducting trials of low-carbon fertilisers and plans to replace 75pc of its potato stock with different varieties – decreasing waste by 2015.