New York — Kind LLC is launching a three-year pilot project in regenerative agriculture, the Kind Almond Acres Initiative, which will expand the company’s sustainable almond sourcing journey and provide key insights to help inform how it can source 100 percent of its almonds from orchards leveraging regenerative agriculture practices on a mass balance basis by 2030.
The initiative builds off Kind’s announcement last year of progress made to its prior commitment to source 100 percent of its almonds from bee-friendly farms by 2025. It will introduce a mix of new technologies with best practices from regenerative agriculture across 500 acres in California, where 80 percent of the world’s almonds are grown.
Implementing the practices on the ground is Kind’s partner, olam food ingredients (ofi), a global leader in food and beverage ingredients, which owns the almond trees on the project acres. Throughout this pilot, Kind hopes to gather the data and learnings needed to find the best combination of practices that will provide measurable benefits to the soil, the farm as a whole and the planet.
“Ofi’s partnership with Kind represents a massive joint effort in regenerative agriculture. We are learning how to pair innovative sustainable technology with traditional farming practices, so we can find a combination that creates a positive change for the planet,” says Zac Ellis, senior director of agronomy at ofi. “Efforts like these leverage our global expertise to build a more sustainable way of farming almonds.”
Kind will also be working with local UC Merced, an HSI (Hispanic-serving Institution) and one of the most sustainable universities in the country, to award the first-ever “Kind to the planet” scholarship.
“This will tremendously help our students, many of which are first-generation students, and continue to give back to our planet by investing in the future generation that’s going to change the world,” says Monica Sozinho, director of corporate relations at UC Merced. “It means a lot to our students to see a brand like KIND invest in our local community and for an initiative that they care deeply about — helping the planet.”
The company has also become a member of the California Water Action Collaborative (CWAC), a network of leading environmental organizations, food/ag and beverage companies and retail and tech companies that work together to pursue collective action projects that will improve California’s water security for people, business, agriculture and nature.
“Kind uses millions of pounds of almonds a year, so joining CWAC is a huge first step in collaborating with the broader industry while helping to build water resilience in California,” says Caitlin Birkholz, regenerative agriculture pillar lead at KIND, “We cannot think of a better time to join than the launch of the Kind Almond Acres Initiative.”