#SustyTalk: Nestle UK & Ireland’s Matt Ryan on balancing nature and food security

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The #SustyTalk series is all about keeping edie’s loyal readers connected to sustainability leaders across the world, even if they only have 20 minutes to tune in.

It launched in the early stages of the pandemic in 2020 and has continued since then, keeping us connected to the leaders who are continuing to drive sustainable business and climate action.

This new episode sees edie’s content editor Sarah George in conversation with Matt Ryan, regeneration lead at Nestle UK & Ireland. 

Matt moved into this newly-created role just over two years ago and his remit covers the economic, social and educational impact Nestle has on farming communities across its value chain. He is also tasked with helping to reduce the negative environmental impacts of farming and boost the positives, by rolling out regenerative practices.

Nestle has a global commitment to source 20% of its key ingredients from farmers adopting regenerative practices by 2025, increasing to 50% by 2030. Last year, the proportion was 15.2%.

Nestle UK&I is incentivising farmers to implement measures such as cover cropping, low-till methods, livestock rotation, hedgerow and tree planting.

Matt outlines the factors that have contributed to success so far, and the challenges that lie ahead on the road to 2030. He also details how the definition of ‘regenerative’, and the most impactful interventions, differ between various ingredients, from wheat to milk. Nonetheless, collaboration is a shared contributor to success.

“It’s a programme specifically looking to get other businesses to share with us the costs and the risks of transforming landscapes,” Matt says. “We’re looking to co-fund farms to become more regenerative and find ways to work together – because it’s too big of a job for one business to take the weight of a full transformation.”

Click here to see our catalogue of #SustyTalk interviews

Want to be featured on a future episode of #SustyTalk? Email [email protected]. Please bear in mind that our interview calendar is now booked until August 2024.

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