STUTTGART, ARKANSAS, US — Riceland Foods, Inc. and Nestle Purina PetCare (Purina) will join forces to incentivize Riceland farmer-members to grow rice using sustainability practices starting in 2023.

Purina will invest more than $1.5 million over four years in the Riceland-Nestle Purina PetCare Sustainable Rice Program, helping Riceland farmer-members with the adoption of environmentally friendly practices, the companies said. Purina will receive Scope 3 greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions that result from the updated farming practices by participating Riceland farmer-members.

Adam Shea, director of sustainability at Stuttgart, Arkansas, US-based Riceland, said the Purina partnership will build momentum for Riceland’s Carbon Ready Program, the gateway program for the cooperative’s farmer members to become eligible for on-farm sustainable practices incentives.

“The success of a program like this leans heavily on the partnership and their collective ability to bring value to the overarching goal,” Shea said. “As a farmer-owned cooperative, Riceland is uniquely positioned to connect sustainable impacts made at the farm level to consumers and end users.”

Riceland Foods is the world’s largest miller and marketer of rice with 5,500 farmer members in Arkansas and Missouri. Riceland stores, transports, processes and markets more than 2.5 million tonnes of grain each year, and its products are sold across the United States and in 75 countries.

Riceland also is partnering with Houston, Texas, US-based Arva Intelligence to provide proof of Scope 3 GHG reductions, an important component of the Riceland Carbon Ready Program. Arva Intelligence will quantify the carbon reductions associated with the various sustainable farm practices in the program, which is necessary for Purina to receive associated GHG emissions reduction credits and achieving its goal of carbon net zero.

“This collaboration with Riceland and Arva Intelligence is another example of our commitment to both rice farmers and the importance of their agriculture stewardship in helping to make the world a better place,” said Jack Scott, vice president of sustainable sourcing at Nestle Purina. “Sustainable rice is relevant to meeting market demands as much as meeting the bold environmental goals we set-out to achieve, which includes a goal of net zero by 2050.”