Innocent Drinks announces £1m funding to support regenerative fruit and vegetable farming within its supply chain

Innocent Drinks has announced this year it is making available up to £1 million in grants through its enhanced Farmer Innovation Fund.

The fund represents an increased investment to help safeguard the long-term supply of fruit and veg through regenerative agriculture, as innocent advances its plans to decarbonise its supply chain, the company said.

The Farmer Innovation Fund provides funding to its ingredient suppliers for projects that support the transition to low-carbon farming, higher biodiversity and fairer farming practices.

With over half of Innocent’s carbon footprint coming from its ingredients, investing in sustainable farming practices will be key to achieving a 50 per cent reduction of its scope 3 emissions by 2030, the firm said.

The fund, first launched in March 2021, aims to address the lack of funding options available to commercial farmers, by making funding available to cover losses associated with trialling new innovative farming practices.

Funding will be offered to all innocent ingredient suppliers with a special focus on those providing priority fruits, such as apples and oranges, which produce the highest levels of Innocent’s Scope 3 emissions.

Within the total fund of £1 million, grants will be made available between £20,000 - £500,000, with those over £500,000, considered on a case-by-case basis.

Longer term, the fund will also cover grants for advocacy, education and collaboration beyond innocent’s supply chains and innocent will share its learnings throughout the process to accelerate the transition to sustainable farming within the wider sector, innocent said.

With a strong history of supporting innovative low-carbon farming projects, the fund’s previous winners include Döhler who are using the fund to map out how to reduce the carbon footprint in their apple and mango supply chains, and Agrarias Manchegas, who are using the fund to optimise farm inputs via data management and precision agriculture technology.

Nick Canney, CEO, Innocent Drinks said: “We’re on a mission to help people live well through the delicious goodness of fruit & veg, working to ensure everyone gets enough today and in the future. That’s why we are proud to play a part in helping our suppliers secure fruit and veg for the long term.

”We see the Farmer Innovation Fund as a great opportunity to weave a strong connection from our drinkers to our farmers by working with our suppliers to safeguard the future supply of fruit and vegetables. So, they can continue to play their role in delivering sustainable and healthy diets.”