Nestlé, John Deere, Cargill, and Nutrien Ag Solutions Join Leading Harvest’s New Founding Supporter Council

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, March 3, 2023

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Contact: Maggie Eason,

Founding Supporter Council to seek alignment on sustainability across the supply chain, advance sustainable agriculture through Flagship Projects that can be scaled.

Washington, DC, US – Leading Harvest, a nonprofit advancing sustainable agriculture and food production through its unique universal Farmland Management Standard, today announced the launch of its Founding Supporter Council with four inaugural members: Nestlé, John Deere, Cargill, and Nutrien Ag Solutions.

The Founding Supporter Council is born out of the recognition that agriculture can be part of the solution and that alignment across the supply chain will allow agriculture and farmers to demonstrate sustainability outcomes and unlock additional value at a global scale. Founding Supporter Council members share a vision of advancing sustainable agriculture, a commitment to continuous improvement, and a desire to create harmony in sustainability reporting and verification across diverse supply chains.

“As Leading Harvest’s inaugural Founding Supporters, Nestlé, John Deere, Cargill, and Nutrien Ag Solutions are demonstrating their commitment to agricultural sustainability and will be at the forefront of driving positive outcomes at a global scale,” said Leading Harvest President and CEO Kenny Fahey. “The work of the Council will create a blueprint for harmonizing sustainability action across the value chain that can be independently verified at a massive scale and replicated across the sector. We appreciate the leadership of this group and their commitment to action.”

The Founding Supporters will engage in Flagship Projects designed to demonstrate that sustainability strategies can be replicated at scale across agricultural sectors. The Founding Supporters are encouraged to innovate to achieve sustainability outcomes while Leading Harvest’s focus will remain on maintaining a consistent standard and audit procedures for certifying the success of those outcomes.

“We’re excited to continue our work with Leading Harvest to certify sustainable and regenerative farming practices,” said Emily Johannes, Director, Diverse and Sustainable Sourcing at Nestlé. “Leading Harvest will work directly with suppliers, who can gain certification through the Farmland Management Standard. Our enrollment in the Founding Support Council is an exciting first step with Leading Harvest, and we look forward to the potential it unlocks for future projects.”

“Collaborating with these Founding Supporters and other entities across the value chain is critical to ensuring agricultural producers have access to sustainability programs that work for them – enabling them to be more profitable, sustainable, and productive,” said Alexey Rostapshov, Head of Sustainability Solutions at John Deere. “We look forward to empowering farmers to continue doing more with less through this streamlined initiative and by bringing to the table John Deere’s wide suite of digital and in-field technology solutions.”

“This connection provides an excellent opportunity to work across the industry to promote regenerative agriculture practices in a broad way,” said Chantelle Donahue, Sustainability Vice President for Cargill’s North America agricultural supply chain business. “Cargill holds a unique place in the supply chain with a complete end-to-end view. We look forward to learning and continuing to evolve in the regenerative agriculture space through this engagement.”

“As a Founding Supporter we look forward to engaging and collaborating with fellow industry leaders across the agricultural value chain, to drive consistent and well-defined standards to support the creation of measurable, verifiable, and scalable sustainability outcomes that create value for our grower customers and meet the needs of Nutrien Ag Solutions and a diversity of other industry stakeholders,” said Matt Marshall, Vice President, Sustainable Ag and Retail Strategy at Nutrien Ag Solutions.

Leading Harvest continues to welcome U.S. members to its Founding Supporter Council, and while the Founding Supporters’ Flagship Projects will be U.S.-focused, Leading Harvest will continue with its global scope.

More information on Leading Harvest can be found at

About Leading Harvest

Leading Harvest is a nonprofit organization committed to increasing adoption of sustainability practices in agriculture. It was formally organized in 2020 by and for all stakeholders across the agricultural value chain—from farmland owners to companies to communities. The organization provides assurance programs comprised of standards,audit procedures, training and education, and reporting and claim offerings that are optimized for flexibility, scalability, and impact.