Thursday, July 25, 2024

Tate and Lyle Sustainable Stevia Partnership Flourishes

Tate and Lyle Sustainable Stevia Partnership Flourishes! In an ongoing effort to promote sustainable agriculture and support local communities, Tate & Lyle has made great strides in collaborating with EarthWatch Europe and Nanjing Agricultural University (NJAU) to scale up stevia farming practices in China the east side. The last Stevia Workshop this January highlighted the tangible environmental and socio-economic benefits of this ongoing partnership.

Launched in 2019, the Tate & Lyle program focuses on integrating regenerative agriculture to reduce the environmental impact of stevia cultivation. The partnership has produced impressive results, including a 56% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and significant improvements in farmers’ productivity and livelihoods

A recent conference in Dongtai, Jiangsu province, gathered more than 90 participants, including local stevia farmers, academics, and agricultural representatives from the local agricultural office in Touzhao and Brother Stevia Cooperative from the program development including They met to discuss the topic and share experiences.

As a leading supplier of plant-based products, Tate & Lyle is committed to sustainable agricultural practices that support the demands of future food production Working with Earthwatch and NJAU, company developed an evidence-based program that promotes the adoption of regenerative agriculture Not only does this approach increase environmental sustainability, it also provides farmers with their participation has social and economic benefits as well.

Since its inception, the program has aimed to reduce the environmental impact of stevia cultivation while also increasing farmers’ productivity. A key feature of this program is its ‘farmer first’ approach, which prioritizes the needs and experiences of local farmers, many of whom are women This program has proved beneficial for individual smallholder farmers, their families and society at large.

From baseline 2019 to 2023, the program achieved notable outcomes, e.g.

76% reduction in coal consumption.
GHG emissions reduced by 56%.
A 94% reduction in soil acidification, indicates significant improvements in soil health and biodiversity.
A 76% reduction in soil toxicity, indicates a reduced impact on soil-dependent ecosystems.
A 77% reduction in freshwater toxicity, underlines improved water quality.

Anna Pearce, head of sustainability at Tate & Lyle, stressed the importance of involving local farmers from the start. “By engaging local farmers as experts early on, we can build trust in the community through a cycle of feedback. Farmers themselves can see the results, especially as their crops are now more resilient to the effects of climate change,” he said.

The January workshop included a discussion of the benefits of gradual application of fertilizers and their positive impact on stevia cultivation. Xu Xin Juan from Henan University of Science and Technology shared insights on how these compounds improve leaf yield and soil fertility, contributing to positive environmental and economic outcomes for stevia farmers

Farmers who participated inside the programme expressed their pride with the effects. One farmer remarked, “I even have participated inside the sustainable stevia programme for 3 years. I assume it’s a very good issue that advantages our income, soil, and surroundings.” Another farmer highlighted the social blessings, noting that the programme’s decreased labour necessities make farming greater possible, specially in regions with labour shortages.

Professor Luo Qingyun from NJAU outlined the subsequent steps for the programme, which include exploring the combined use of cowl crops and slow-release fertilisers to further reduce GHG emissions and decorate plant resilience. “In reaction to climate warming, our subsequent assignment is to discover these combined techniques to boom sustainability and farmer income variety,” he stated.

The workshop concluded with a word of gratitude to all attendees and contributors, marking any other milestone in the adventure closer to sustainable stevia farming and a more potent network.

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