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Our work in the food & beverage sector

A prosperous economy and planet depend on protecting nature and making agriculture part of the solution. Ceres works with investors and companies to promote ambitious innovation, policies, and business strategies to do just that.   

Climate change

Responsible for approximately one third of global greenhouse gas emissions, the food sector is a critical player in the transition to a low-carbon economy. We work with investors and companies to reduce greenhouse gas and methane emissions from food production and ensure that the climate transition is just and equitable for the sector’s most important stakeholders: farmers and farmworkers. Reducing emissions from the food and beverage sector is also a priority of the Ceres Ambition 2030 initiative, which aims to decarbonize the six highest-emitting sectors of the economy.

Learn more about Ambition 2030

Food Emissions 50

Food Emissions 50 is an investor-led initiative engaging 50 of the highest-emitting food companies in North America to reduce financial risk by improving climate disclosures, setting ambitious climate targets, and developing their own climate transition plans in line with the Paris Agreement.

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Climate-Smart Agriculture and Healthy Soil Working Group

As part of the Ceres Policy Network, the Climate-Smart Agriculture and Healthy Soil Working Group is made up of food and clothing companies pushing for policy solutions to tackle emissions from the agriculture sector while protecting water and soil health, biodiversity, and crop resilience.

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Dairy Methane Action Alliance

Ceres is a proud partner of the Dairy Methane Action Alliance. Signatory companies—including General Mills, Kraft Heinz, and Nestlé—commit to annually account for and publicly disclose methane emissions within their dairy supply chains, and to publish and implement a comprehensive action plan by the end of 2024.

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How to prepare for the just climate transition

Target-setting is the first step to creating climate transition plans that chart pathways to emissions reductions and business practices for taking advantage of the shift to a low-carbon economy. Ceres produces comprehensive guidance to help companies and investors create, implement, and evaluate climate transition action plans.

Nov 7, 2023
Cultivating Innovation: Practical Solutions for Companies to Reduce Agricultural Emissions
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Jan 31, 2023
Climate Transition Plans in the U.S. Food Sector
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May 24, 2022
The Investor Guide to Climate Transition Plans in the U.S. Food Sector
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Nature and biodiversity loss

With more than half of the world’s GDP reliant on nature, depleting natural capital creates significant operational, regulatory, litigation, and reputational risk for investors and businesses alike. Ceres works with investors and companies in the food and beverage sector to address commodity-driven deforestation and other nature loss—and to reduce risk exposure across agricultural supply chains.

Nature Action 100

Ceres co-leads Nature Action 100, a global investor engagement initiative focused on driving greater corporate ambition and action to reverse nature and biodiversity loss. Focus companies in the food sector include Costco, General Mills, PepsiCo and more.

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Land Use and Climate Working Group

As part of the Ceres Investor Network, the Land Use and Climate Working Group serves as a center of investor coordination and collaboration on climate and land use issues.

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Ceres works with companies to make good on their commitments to end deforestation associated with commodity production in their supply chains. We also work with investors to drive corporate action on deforestation and land conversion by providing data on corporate progress and helping investors define engagement priorities.

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Learn how to engage the chain

We provide investors with the guidance they need to address the material business risks throughout corporate supply chains.

Soy farm
Apr 10, 2022
Soybeans: An Investor Brief on Impacts That Drive Business Risks
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Truck full of palm plant
Apr 10, 2022
Palm Oil: An Investor Brief on Impacts That Drive Business Risks
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Apr 10, 2022
Beef: An Investor Brief on Impacts That Drive Business Risks
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Water scarcity and pollution

Growing and processing the food we eat is a thirsty business, consuming more than 70% of the world’s increasingly strained water resources. Smart water management is a business imperative as risks from plastic pollution to groundwater depletion accelerate worldwide. We work with investors and companies to improve their water stewardship and safeguard global water supplies.

Valuing Water Finance Initiative

Ceres’ Valuing Water Finance Initiative is a global investor-led effort to engage companies with a high-water footprint—including Domino's Pizza, Bunge, Nestlé—to act on water as a financial risk and drive large-scale change to better protect water systems.

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The AgWater Challenge

In partnership with the World Wildlife Fund, we engaged some of the most influential food and agriculture companies—including Danone North America, Ingredion, and Mars—to make strong, transparent, time-bound, and measurable commitments to better protect limited freshwater resources.

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Feeding Ourselves Thirsty

We produced four industry benchmarks which provide investors with guidance and relevant data for evaluating the water risk management of publicly held companies in the agricultural products, beverage, meat, and packaged food industries. The benchmark also tracks company progress on assessing, disclosing, and managing their water risks.

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Explore our food and beverage reports

We produce cutting-edge research and analysis to help investors and companies drive large-scale changes in the way food is produced and sourced.

Little Missouri River Valley
Mar 26, 2024
Exploring Nature Impacts and Dependencies: A Field Guide to Eight Key Sectors
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Nov 7, 2023
Cultivating Innovation: Practical Solutions for Companies to Reduce Agricultural Emissions
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Jan 31, 2023
Climate Transition Plans in the U.S. Food Sector
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Our Progress

Ceres works with investors and companies in the food and beverage sector to address commodity-driven deforestation and nature loss—and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across agricultural supply chains. We also mobilize investors and companies to advocate for climate-smart food and water policies at the state and federal levels. As a result of our advocacy, we are seeing real progress.

Food Emissions 50 Company Benchmark

Our most recent Food Emissions 50 Company Benchmark revealed that 37 out of the 50 companies engaged through our Food Emissions 50 initiative have reported their supply chain greenhouse gas emissions and 32 of them have set targets to reduce those emissions – two critical actions that should be the basis of an effective climate transition plan.

U.S. Farm Bill

Ceres brought more than a dozen leading food, agriculture, and clothing companies to Capitol Hill to advocate for a Farm Bill that equitably builds rural prosperity and supports farmers as they work to address the severe climate-related challenges already facing U.S. farmlands. We connected companies—including Indigo Agriculture, Mars Inc., McDonald’s, Nestlé, and PepsiCo— with more than a dozen House and Senate offices to present their vision of a Farm Bill that advances agricultural resilience against drought, extreme weather, floods, unhealthy soil, and other climate-related challenges.


At the 15th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15), a group of institutional investors announced the formation of Nature Action 100, a new global engagement initiative to drive urgent action by companies in their portfolios on their nature-related risks and dependencies. Ceres and the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) are co-leading the initiative’s Secretariat and Corporate Engagement work.

Global Engagement on Meat Sourcing

Ceres partnered with FAIRR on a three-year global initiative led by investors to urge six of the world’s largest fast food giants—Chipotle Mexican Grill, Domino’s Pizza, McDonald’s, Restaurant Brands International, Wendy’s Co. and Yum! Brands— to take faster and deeper action to manage climate and water risks in their supply chains. The engagement with the $11 trillion investor coalition led to all six companies setting, or committing to set, global greenhouse gas reduction targets approved by the Science-Based Targets initiative.

Launch of Food Emissions 50

Ceres worked with investors to launch the Food Emissions 50 initiative to call on 50 of the highest-emitting publicly traded food and agriculture companies in North America to improve emissions disclosures, set ambitious emission reduction targets, and implement climate transition action plans in line with Paris Agreement

Ceres x World Wildlife Fund AgWater Challenge

The AgWater Challenge, led by Ceres and World Wildlife Fund, engaged major companies with significant agricultural supply chains on water stewardship. The effort spurred nine companies — including ADM, Danone North America, Diageo, Driscoll’s, General Mills, Hormel Foods, Kellogg Company, PepsiCo, and Target — to make more than 25 stronger, more transparent, time-bound, and measurable commitments that better protect our water. This initiative was retired in 2022 but these corporate commitments live on.

Latest updates

Read the latest news and insights from our work in the food and beverage sector.

Help us transform the food and beverage sector

Our work to accelerate the transition to a more just and sustainable economy depends on the generosity of our supporters. Your gift will help Ceres drive progress across every sector of the economy.

Crop field

Events and webinars

May 29, 2024
In-Person | Minneapolis
The Future of Food and Beverage USA
Pomegranates and lemons
Mar 7, 2024
Turning Targets into Action: How Food Companies Are Tackling Their Emissions
Soybean growing in soil
Apr 27, 2023
Transition Planning for a 1.5°C Future in the Food Sector

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