How a Food Company Responds to Consumer Needs, Supports Farmers

From major metropolitan areas to mom-and-pop chains, today’s grocery stories are a culinary wild west, says Christine Daugherty, vice president of sustainable agriculture and responsible sourcing at PepsiCo. ( Lindsey Robinson, Top Producer )

From major metropolitan areas to mom-and-pop chains, today’s grocery stories are a culinary wild west, says Christine Daugherty, vice president of sustainable agriculture and responsible sourcing at PepsiCo.

“We are constantly trying to stay ahead of these trends,” says Daugherty, who delivered the Trust In Food Keynote Address at Top Producer Seminar. 

The company sources more than 25 major crops in 60 countries to produce its 22 $1 billion food brands, such as Pepsi, Lays, Lipton and Tostitos. 

“The ultimate overseer of our businesses is the consumer,” Daugherty says. 

While modern agriculture has a great story to tell, she says, the entire agri-food value chain must cope with startling numbers:

  • Over 75% of fertile topsoil is degraded.
  • Six garbage trucks of edible food are lost every second in the U.S.
  • 14% of plastic packaging ends up in oceans and streams.

“We must transform how we make food,” she says. “It’s unlikely consumers will pay more for sustainable attributes; we have to balance what consumers want and what farmers are doing.”


Education and agricultural advocacy are important to building shared understanding.

 

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