By Pet Age Staff//November 9, 2023//
By: Pet Age Staff//November 9, 2023//
Press release: NUTRO
Pet food brand NUTRO wants to encourage America’s 86 million pet-loving households to promote a worthy cause: helping protect healthy soil to feed our future, for people and pets. An estimated 95 percent of all food in the world is grown in soil – but that healthy soil is under threat. In fact, every five seconds, the equivalent of a soccer field of soil is lost due to erosion, according to the UN Food & Agriculture Organization.
The NUTRO brand recently premiered a new modern fable – Tail of Two Farms – to help pet parents discover the importance of healthy soil through two pet characters’ unique experiences with nature and to reconnect them with the way food is grown. The NUTRO brand also partnered with proud pet parent, environmental advocate and actor Ian Somerhalder to voice the story of Arlo the dog and Sunny the cat who live on neighboring farms. In the fable, one neighbor helps the other transform their farm using healthy soil practices to help ensure the future of the food we eat.
“We all want to eat nourishing food that fuels our bodies – and we want the same for our pets,” Somerhalder said. “Healthy, carbon-rich soil is essential to growing ingredients used in the food we and our pets rely on, but it’s disappearing at an alarming rate due to a history of practices that have not always prioritized the health of the land. That’s why I feel it’s critical to adopt more regenerative farming practices that return to working with nature, not against it. I’m honored to lend my voice to Tail of Two Farms and to encourage more people to research and get involved in the healthy soil movement.”
Growers are the ultimate protectors of soil. However, farming practices that support healthy soil are only used on a small amount of farmland. While growers may be interested in adopting more of these practices, the rate of transition is slow and growers face significant barriers.
As part of the GREATER GROUND initiative launched by the NUTRO brand in 2022 on World Soil Day, a $5 million commitment is being made to provide growers in our supply network with training, support and funding to help with implementation of healthy soil practices over the next five years. While we are only at the beginning of our journey, through the GREATER GROUND initiative, we anticipate having trained more than 60 individual growers on healthy soil practices by the end of 2023.
“Soil is a finite natural resource. When soil is at risk, so is the future of the food that fills our plates and pets’ bowls,” said Mindy Barry, vice president, Mars Pet Nutrition US and Global Brand Lead for NUTRO. “The NUTRO brand wants to support a future that values healthy soil as much as the natural ingredients it produces. That’s why our Greater Ground program is focused on growing awareness of the importance of healthy soil and encouraging growers to implement on-farm changes that we hope will have lasting impact on soil health. Healthy soil feeds our future, for people and pets, and we’re encouraging pet parents everywhere to follow us on our journey.”
The NUTRO brand has also partnered with nonprofit organization Kiss the Ground to create a series of short films, Stories of Regeneration, that spotlight the work growers are doing across the country to care for and nurture healthy soil. Stories of Regeneration inspire viewers to learn more about the important role of soil in our food system and to celebrate the unsung heroes of soil: the growers who nurture it.
The NUTRO brand believes that pet parents can be a powerful force for change. To get involved, watch the animated fable, Tail of Two Farms. For each view of the video, $1 – up to a total of $300,000 – will go to the NUTRO brand’s 2024 Greater Ground Soil Growth Grants to help select growers implement healthy soil practices.
(Top photo courtesy Ian Somerhalder)