With the launch of our global initiative, AdvanceMint (known as Shubh Mint in India) we’re working today to advance plant science and invest in mint farmers and their communities to ensure their crop thrives for generations.
HOW WE’LL ACHIEVE MINT SUSTAINABILITY
Mint is a specialty crop grown in the United States, Canada and India providing livelihoods to more than 1 million farmers. In order to address each region’s specific issues, we work with farmers and experts through AdvanceMint to better understand different agricultural footprints and different social, economic and environmental challenges.
By 2025, we aim to:
- Advance mint plant science by collaborating with research partners.
- Reduce water consumption by 30 percent in water-stressed areas, by promoting Good Agricultural Practices (GAP).
- Improve smallholder farmer incomes by partnering with industry experts and suppliers.
And we’ll do it by focusing on three critical areas:
Science tells us changing weather patterns, soil health and disease are threatening the long-term viability of mint, so we’re funding research with the goal of developing plants that can resist disease, increase yields, adapt to climate change and use water efficiently.
In India, smallholder mint farmers face declining yields and increasing water stress. Over the next five years, with our partner, Tanager, our Shubh Mint program is training more than 20,000 smallholder farmers in Uttar Pradesh–a key mint growing region–on GAP so farmers can learn about planting, irrigation, soil health and intercropping techniques that promote resiliency.
In the U.S. and Canada, mint farming has a high cost of entry, which can sometimes make implementing new, improved agricultural practices difficult. To address this, we started a pilot program in Fall 2017 that offers annual funding to state mint associations letting farmers test or implement the best known practices for reducing water usage, improving soil health and/or increasing energy efficiency.
In Uttar Pradesh, mint farmers largely engaged in subsistence farming face a variety of socioeconomic challenges, such as gender inequality and educational disparity. In our commitment to raising smallholder farmer incomes, we partnered with Tanager to organize more than 200 self-help groups for women in India to connect, access information and capital and learn farming and other livelihood skills. We’re also funding new village libraries through the NGO READ India to build more community meeting places to offer books, computers, safe drinking water, training, and opportunities.
In North America, where we source mint indirectly from more than 300 farms, we’re developing a program with universities in mint-growing states to expose students to sustainable mint practices and create deeper connections between those who grow our food and those who consume it, so that we can enjoy this important crop for generations to come.