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Strengthening Corporate Water Quality Commitments in U.S. Row Crops

Meridian explored how companies can strengthen their sustainability commitments to tackle water quality issues in U.S. row crop agriculture.

Agriculture production in the U.S. Mississippi River Basin significantly impacts water quality due to excess nutrients associated with fertilizer application, sediment runoff, or other pollution from agricultural chemicals. As a result, companies that source row crops and other agricultural products are uniquely positioned to help tackle water quality.

Companies looking to improve the sustainability of their supply chain can work with farmers and the broader agriculture supply chain to incentivize farming practices that reduce water quality impacts. However, they must navigate unique factors associated with U.S. row crop production and water quality. They often struggle to understand the options and best practices for making and implementing strong corporate commitments related to water quality.

To address this knowledge gap, Meridian Institute and Ceres drew on our networks and deep expertise on supply chain sustainability commitments, water quality, and U.S. row crop agriculture. We interviewed representatives from food and agriculture companies, leaders at conservation and sustainable agriculture organizations, and other experts to understand complexities in U.S. row crop production and associated water quality impacts.

We summarized our findings into an accessible report, which includes draft recommendations for how companies can take immediate action. With our report in hand, Ceres now has a framework for guiding company commitments—and can help strengthen corporate leadership to address the water quality impacts of row crop production.

Project Team

Learn more about the team that led the Corporate Water Quality Commitments in U.S. Row Crops project.