MIAMI – Burger King, Cargill and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) are providing cattle ranchers in a six-state region with technical support and resources focused on grassland management, greenhouse gas emissions and conservation of the Great Plains. The five-year Southern Great Plains initiative includes $5 million in funds from Cargill and Burger King, a subsidiary of Restaurant Brands International, and $5 million in matching funds from NFWF that will potentially sequester 360,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent annually. The partnership is focused on utilizing regenerative agriculture practices to improve grassland management and preserve ecosystems on ranches in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
On April 12, NFWF awarded three grants, funded by Burger King and Cargill, to ranchers in Kansas, New Mexico and Texas to support plans to implement grassland management practices tailored to their land.
“As one of the biggest buyers of beef in North America, partnering with Cargill and NFWF allows us to accelerate ambitious efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our beef supply chain and to make meaningful impacts important to our planet and guests,” said Tom Curtis, president of Burger King. “Beef can be a force for good, particularly when it comes to improved rangeland management as a mechanism for directly addressing climate change,” he added. “We’re committed to creating a more resilient food system and collaborating as a team to advance noticeable change.”
Jeff Trandahl, executive director and chief executive officer of NFWF, said the conservation efforts endeavor to implement grazing practices specific to each region and to conserve and restore grasslands and the wildlife species they support.
“These projects will make grasslands more resilient to changing conditions, and we look forward to expanding this work by connecting conservation experts with ranchers interested in making a real change,” Trandahl said. “By creating a community-based conservation plan, we’ll see meaningful benefits for both the environment and participating ranchers.”
Heather Tansey, Cargill’s vice president of environmental sustainability, said mitigating the beef supply chain’s impact on the environment requires attention and commitments on multiple fronts to maximize the benefits of currently utilized practices.
“As part of Cargill’s largest and most ambitious program on climate change, BeefUp Sustainability, we recognize that our farmers and ranchers across North America are already leading environmental stewardship practices and just need further incentives, tools and training to help scale these impactful practices.”
According to Cargill, “Cross-industry collaboration creates an opportunity for beef production to preserve and positively impact land and resources. Burger King, Cargill and NFWF are each committed to making beef production more sustainable and have already implemented similar sustainable agriculture programs across North America to optimize beef production that is healthy for customers, regenerative for land and profitable for farmers.”