Demonstration farm

Global sustainable agriculture commitment

Demonstration farm

Food production must increase roughly 70 percent to feed the estimated 9 billion people who will inhabit the planet by 2050. In 2010, with just four of our then 39 public sustainability goals addressing our food business, we knew it was time to evaluate how our business could embrace sustainable agriculture.

On October 14, 2010, we announced an acceleration of our global commitment to sustainable agriculture. Our strategy is built on directly connecting farmers with markets, taking food waste out of the supply chain, motivating farmers in our supply chain to produce more with fewer inputs and to source key agricultural products responsibly. We will do this while strengthening local economies and providing customers around the world with long-term access to affordable, high-quality, fresh food.

This comprehensive commitment is very much in line with our Next Generation Walmart strategies of becoming a more global company, solving business challenges and leading on social issues. To help track progress and ensure these goals are met by the end of 2015, we have outlined specific commitments and initiatives in three broad areas as follows:

Support farmers and their communities

Our approach is designed to help small- and medium-sized farmers expand their businesses, get more income for their products and reduce the environmental impact of farming. In emerging markets, we will help many small- and medium-sized farmers gain access to markets by:

  • Selling $1 billion in food sourced from 1 million small- and medium-sized farmers
  • Providing training to 1 million farmers and farm workers – half of which we expect to be women – in such areas as crop selection and sustainable farming
  • Increasing income by 10 percent to 15 percent for the small- and medium-sized farmers from whom we source

In the United States, our focus will be on increasing the amount of locally sourced produce sold in our stores. Our goal is to double the sales of locally sourced produce by the end of 2015.


Produce more food with fewer resources and less waste

We have one of the world's largest food supply chains, and we are committed to reducing and optimizing the resources required to produce it. We will bring transparency to our supply chain by:

  • Accelerating the agricultural focus of the Sustainability Index, beginning this year with a Sustainable Produce Assessment for top producers in our Global Food Sourcing Network
  • Investing more than $1 billion in our global fresh supply chain over the next five years
  • Reducing food waste in our emerging market stores and clubs by 15 percent and by 10 percent in our more developed markets by the end of 2015

Sustainably source key agriculture products

From deforestation of the world's rainforests to increasing greenhouse gas emissions, farming practices are having environmental impacts. We will focus on two of the major contributors to global deforestation, palm oil and beef production, by:

  • Requiring sustainably sourced palm oil for all Walmart private brand products globally by the end of 2015
  • Extending Walmart Brazil's policy of sourcing only beef that does not contribute to deforestation of the Amazon to all of our companies worldwide by the end of 2015

We will continue our commitment to sourcing sustainable seafood with programs now being implemented in the U.S., Mexico, Central America, Canada and Brazil.

Tierra Fértil

Diversifying crops, addressing real market needs


Central America enjoys an abundance of land and farmers. With a little education and investment, more than ever before, these farmers are capitalizing on opportunities to bring a wider variety of fruits, vegetables and grains to markets across the region.

Through our Tierra Fértil (translation: Fertile Soil) program, we continue to support farmers in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador in diversifying their crops to meet real market needs. A specialized group of agronomical engineers advises local farmers on seed and crop quality, soil use, yields, maturity, safety, responsible use of agrochemicals, crop rotation and more.

Tierra Fértil has assisted over 2,200 farmers and improved the quality of life for more than 16,600 Central American families by purchasing over $1.1 billion pesos (USD more than $90 million) in fruit, vegetables and grains. In addition to the economic and social value created, the consultancy, training and processes ensure a supply of quality products for our stores. Local production development also reduces greenhouse gas emissions because the products are traveling shorter distances to market.


India: Building a successful Direct Farm program that has grown to 800 farmers in India since its initiation in December 2008, Bharti Walmart expanded its model into Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Maharshtra in 2010. By the end of 2010, approximately 15 percent of the vegetables sold in our Bharti Walmart stores were through the Direct Farm program.

Through this program, we work directly with local farmers to encourage the cultivation of safe, high-quality seasonal vegetables. In an effort to improve quality and reduce waste, field agronomists visit these fields at every stage of cultivation, from the leveling of land, nursery management and transplant to nutrient management, harvest and post-harvest. The Bharti Walmart program provides quality fresh produce to retail stores, while enhancing the net incomes of local farmers through better agronomic practices.

China: Walmart China has successfully engaged 473,999 farmers into our Direct Farm program in 2010, bringing the total to 757,149. We strive toward the goal of engaging 2 million Chinese farm workers and reducing produce waste by 15 percent by the end of 2015, while upgrading 15 percent of Direct Farm program products from Green to Organic certified.

Brazil: Through Walmart Brazil's Producers' Club (Clube dos Produtores), we are negotiating directly with more small- and medium-sized farmers across the country than ever before. By the end of 2010, the Producers' Club featured 8,400 producers in more than 300 cities of 11 Brazilian states. These producers have been screened to ensure compliance with labor laws and environmental standards. In addition to the new business opportunities direct contact has opened for these farmers, our customers are now receiving fresher, locally grown fruits and vegetables at affordable prices.