Landmark Farmers Leading Sustainable Agriculture
From the rice grown in Arkansas to garlic cultivated in California, Knorr® Landmark Farmers are role models and innovators in sustainable agriculture.
Anthony Azevedo is a fourth generation farmer working the fertile land of the San Joaquin Valley in California, where he grows garlic.
California’s state of emergency due to their four-year drought may finally be over, but it certainly proved the importance of water conservation to Azevedo and millions of others in his state. That’s why Knorr® certifies Landmark Farms to recognize pioneering farmers that work constantly to ensure they’re growing the highest-quality ingredients with the most sustainable methods.
Azevedo and his family are part of our Landmark Farm program, partnering with Knorr® for an irrigation trial to make sure his sons can be the fifth generation of Azevedos to tend to their garlic farm:
Quenching Garlic’s Thirst:
Azevedo decided on drip irrigation, a slow delivery of water precisely to the garlic’s roots. Anthony can now water an entire field in a single day as opposed to the five or more it took using a sprinkler system. Importantly, this process is far more water efficient since there is very little runoff or evaporation.
His boys Todd and Lee want to follow in his footsteps because farming is in their blood, and they recognize the farm’s value proudly saying, “we wake up in the morning to help our dad produce a crop that the whole world can use.”
Thanks to this sustainable, water-saving method, they should be able to become the next great garlic growers (and suppliers for Knorr® products) like their father.
Many Farms, Many Measures
Knorr®’s commitment to sustainability goes down to the roots of the company—and the same goes for the farms supplying their ingredients nationwide.
With the Unilever goal of sourcing all agricultural raw materials sustainably by 2020, it’s farmers like Azevedo, with such sustainable practices, that will help us succeed.
Knorr® sources ingredients for their products from other Landmark Farms as well. Rice for their Knorr® Sides, for example, may come from innovative and incredibly sustainable farmers like the Isbells in Arkansas that pioneered a technique to reduce water usage by 30-50%.
The Azevedo and Isbell farms are just two of the 45 Landmark Farms Knorr works with worldwide. There are many different sustainability measures taken to preserve the land and make the most of the harvest:
- Becoming A Bee Concierge: creating a “bee hotel” in the middle of crops is a simple, natural way to improve pollination.
- Fighting Bugs With Bugs: Knorr® farmers look to nature to control pests, using predatory bugs to control pests like tomato-munching moths.
- Field Freebies: After harvesting carrots and onions, their leaves are left on the field to be ploughed back into the ground creating free, nutrient-rich compost.
A Sustainable Path Forward:
As California farmers well know, unpredictable weather patterns can have a huge impact on farming. During the heights of water scarcity, Anthony Azevedo had previously left nearly a third of his garlic farm unused.
Each year, a full 70% of the world’s total surface water is used for farming , so if we’re going to continue to sustain the world’s growing population, agricultural practices must continue to become more sustainable.
Collectively, Knorr® Landmark Farmers, who’ve been in the program three years, have saved 10.6 million liters of irrigation water through practices like switching to drip irrigation.
The water-saving practices of Anthony Azevedo and other Knorr® Landmark Farmers are exactly what’s needed to create sustainable agriculture, which is why Knorr® will continue to work with farmers to champion sustainability every day.