The Kellogg Company announced a commitment to phase out the use of glyphosate as a pre-harvest drying agent in its major wheat and oat supply chains by 2025.
Glyphosate is the most widely used pesticide in modern agriculture. The practice of applying glyphosate just before harvest (to dry out crops evenly and quickly) is increasingly common for grains, which the company says is leading to a higher risk of glyphosate residues in foods. Kellogg says its commitment is a step to protect consumers from eating foods with this pesticide still present.
The company says investor pressure helped move Kellogg’s to make this important commitment. As You Sow first filed a shareholder resolution with the company on the subject of glyphosate in 2017. This led to ongoing dialogue between investors and the company during which investors asked the company to reduce the use of glyphosate by producer farms; in particular, investors asked the company to eliminate the practice of applying glyphosate just before harvesting grains.
As You Sow filed another resolution for the 2020 shareholder meeting pushing the company to collect and report information on supply chain pesticide use; the proposal was withdrawn after the company demonstrated significant new commitments.