Our highest priority is the quality and safety of our products and continuously improving our food safety management systems. Post is committed to responsible pest management in our own operations, engaging our key agricultural suppliers to promote reductions in volume and types of pesticides utilized within our global supply chain, and to being transparent with actions we take in support of this commitment.
Owned Field Crop Sourcing
Post owns and operates approximately 600 acres of potato farms in Maine annually and has strict protocols for pesticide usage, including:
- Following Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and other applicable regulations.
- Only utilizing certified applicators, approved chemicals and strict guidelines for application to protect worker health and safety and manage potential environmental impacts (e.g., spray drift).
- Tracking and recording pesticide usage by volume and type.
- Utilizing Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices in alignment with the principles and four-tiered approach recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:
- Monitor and Identify Pests – basing control decisions on the proper identification and monitoring of pests to avoid the use of pesticides whenever possible and, if required to use, that the proper pesticide is selected and applied volumes are minimized.
- Set Action Thresholds – we have defined criteria guiding when pest control actions are required based upon geography, seasonal weather patterns, pest forecasts and potential operational impacts (health hazard or economic threat).
- Prevention – managing fields to prevent pests from becoming a threat, including a 3-year crop rotation with 2-years in a mixture of grasses including nitrogen fixers like alfalfa and peas and implementing other preventative maintenance practices on property.
- Control – implementing the proper control method both for effectiveness and risk (e.g., targeted versus broadcast spraying), including consideration of alternative pest control measures and using pesticide application as a last resort.
- Adopting leading practices in the potato industry for pesticide management, including engaging external expert agronomists to help guide our practices.
- Designing a data analytics solution focused on linkages between potato quality, supply and growing practices, including operational inputs such as fertilizer and pesticide application, for use on owned farms and with engaging our contract potato network.
Third-Party Field Crop Sourcing
Post is committed to engaging our key agricultural suppliers to promote regenerative agriculture practices including reductions in volume and types of pesticides utilized within our global supply chain through the following core actions:
- Risk-Based Approach – Our purchasing Quality Assurance (QA) teams review and manage the potential risk of all food safety, including pesticide residue, across the enterprise using a risk management approach based upon the best available data and regulatory guidelines, including annual reports by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Pesticide Data Program.
- Supplier Standards and Requirements – Post suppliers have heightened responsibilities when dealing with products that are intended for human consumption and are required to comply with all food quality and safety laws, including all applicable provisions of the Food Safety Modernization Act, and shall ensure that its products present no threat to human safety. Adherence to our Supplier Code of Conduct is mandatory for each supplier and its supply chain, including requirements relevant to pesticide management including product safety and quality, labor practices and environment and sustainability. During the next update of our Supplier Code of Conduct, Post will consider inclusion of more specific chemical management requirements. In addition, Post also utilizes procurement specifications, annual screening panels for pesticide residues, and a test crop from the grower as verification support for targeted crops to monitor conformance with our pesticide management expectations. Certified products and ingredients, such as USDA Organic, can also include pesticide-related requirements within certification criteria and audits and/or from retail customer specifications.
- Supplier and Peer Benchmarking – Post is committed to tracking and monitoring pesticide management and use data from our material suppliers and peers. Currently, we conduct an annual pesticide management benchmarking of suppliers representing 80% of global spend on ingredients and our food industry peer group to evaluate the public availability and relative program maturity of pesticide management strategies, commitments to IPM practices, pesticide volume disclosures and best practices. Post is also evaluating procurement technologies that will allow our organization to survey global suppliers more comprehensively regarding regenerative agriculture practices, including pesticide management. A supplier survey was piloted in fiscal year 2023.
- Direct Supplier Engagement and Innovation – Approximately 90% of supplier locations providing ingredients to our organization are located domestically in North America and Western Europe operating under strict legal and monitoring frameworks for pesticide management. This sourcing footprint has also resulted in Post maintaining long-standing relationships with our contract farm networks facilitating more effective direct supplier engagement and monitoring of agricultural practices. In addition, Post is also piloting innovations in regenerative and sustainable agriculture including:
- Weetabix Wheat Growers Group – The Weetabix Growers Group, formed in 2010, is a specialized group of environmentally aware farmers trusted to grow, harvest, store and deliver the finest quality wheat within a 50-mile radius of Weetabix mills in Burton Latimer. The growers commit to abide by Weetabix’s Wheat Protocol, a strict protocol covering quality, consistency, traceability and environmental sustainability of the harvest, and be Red Tractor certified which includes IPM requirements. This year, consumers will also be able to scan a QR code on the back of the product pack to learn more about the journey Weetabix makes from seed to spoon. The Growers’ Group has involved over 350 local farmers growing approximately 75,000 metric tonnes of wheat each year across more than four million acres.
- Airly® Brands – Our Airly snack brand is on a mission to reverse climate change through food. Starting with wholesome oats that are grown on cutting-edge carbon-converting farms, Airly is on a journey to pioneer new ways to minimize and offset our carbon footprint every step of the way – from seed to shelf. Airly brings together preeminent scientists and innovative farmers in Michigan, South Dakota, and Saskatchewan to utilize the latest regenerative agriculture practices to grow our oats:
- No till farming
- Planting cover crops
- Selecting high carbon-capture potential farms
- Rotating crops
- Precision Digital Farming
- Rigorous farm-level LCAs to quantify carbon capture
- Industry Collective Action Programs – Post also invited our global ingredient suppliers to complete the CDP Climate questionnaire as a CDP Supply Chain member and to participate in the Supplier Leadership on Climate Transition (Supplier LOCT) Program, which are both avenues to greater engagement on responsible sourcing with our suppliers.