The snacks and drink giant has built up its iCrop precision agriculture tool to better support potato, corn, oats and peanut farmers make in-field decisions, PepsiCo Europe’s head of agricultural procurement David Wilkinson tells FoodNavigator.
PepsiCo is one of the largest potato buyers in Europe. Of the 3,900 farmers supplying directly to the snacks and drink giant across Europe and sub-Saharan Africa (ESSA), approximately 1,200 are potato farmers.
These potatoes end up in a number snack brands, including Walkers and Lay’s crisps. The snacks and drink giant claims a heritage of securing local crops for local production.
The company’s ‘next-gen’ iCrop tool is currently being applied to all 500,000 hectares of potato farms in the ESSA regions.
“Spanish potatoes are set to the Spanish factories, and the Portuguese potatoes to the Portuguese factories.”
“The challenge we, and all industry, are facing at the moment is [centred around] climate volatility.”
“The precision agri and farm tech solution sector is going to become so important in helping us better manage these volatile situations.”
Blending procurement traditions with new technologies, PepsiCo has developed precision agriculture methods to ensure resources are eciently used across all farming operations.