Land O'Lakes is a member-owned agricultural cooperative with operations that span the spectrum from agricultural production to consumer foods. Building on a legacy of more than 99 years of operation, Land O'Lakes today operates some of the US' most well-known brands in agribusiness and food production including Land O'Lakes Dairy Foods, Purina Animal Nutrition and WinField Solutions. The company does business in all 50 US states and more than 60 countries worldwide. Land O'Lakes counts 1,851 dairy producers and 749 agricultural producers in its domestic production activities.
Land O Lakes is active in the agricultural inputs, agricultural products and commodities, animal proteins, and food and beverage processors segments. The company performs below average compared to its peers in all the four segments. In environment, the company lags behind its peers on critical topics such as greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and water use. As a food processor, Land O Lakes ranks at the bottom on plastic use reduction. The company is among the weakest performers in most of the topics in nutrition and governance and strategy, showing that its commitments and disclosure are limited compared to its leading peers. While company performs better than the majority of its peers in all the segments in relation to social inclusion, it has the opportunity to improve its performance by disclosing commitments in relation to forced labour, land rights and protection of the health and safety of vulnerable groups.
Sustainable development strategy
While the company has key performance indicators covering topics within the Food and Agriculture Benchmark’s three dimensions of environment, nutrition and social inclusion, it has an opportunity to disclose a sustainable development strategy and how it identifies and prioritises the topics where it has the most impact.
Governance and accountability for sustainable development strategy
The company does not disclose the governance structure for the implementation of its sustainable development strategy or targets, such as the person, team or committee that holds ultimate responsibility for its implementation.
The company does not disclose stakeholder engagement activities, including how it selects the stakeholders, nor an overview of the topics discussed or their outcomes.
Scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emissions
The company does not disclose quantitative evidence to demonstrate that it is reducing its scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Soil health and agrobiodiversity
While the company discloses qualitative evidence through its participation in the Stewardship Incentive Program, it has an opportunity to strengthen its commitment by setting targets to increase the percentage of production from sustainable practices that improve soil health and agrobiodiversity, reporting progress against the targets and disclosing quantifiable data on its impact on soil health and agrobiodiversity.
The company does not disclose that it is reducing water withdrawals across its operations and supply chain
Fertiliser and pesticide use
The company does not disclose that it is adopting sustainable production practices that optimise the use of fertilisers and pesticides.
The company does not disclose that it is addressing key animal welfare issues for its relevant key species in its own operations. It has an opportunity to disclose a commitment that addresses key issues for animal and aquatic welfare across its relevant species, geographies and products.
Availability of healthy foods
The company does not disclose a commitment or activities to increase the availability of healthy and nutritious foods.
Accessibility and affordability of healthy foods
The company does not disclosea commitment to address food insecurity by improving the accessibility and affordability of healthy and nutritious foods.
Clear and transparent labelling
The company does not disclose that it provides nutritional information through clear, transparent and accurate labelling.
While the company discloses compliance with national regulations, it has an opportunity to strengthen its commitment by disclosing the percentages of its own operations that are certified to a food safety scheme/certification programme recognised by the Global Food Safety Initiative or other widely recognised (industry-specific) certification.
Child and forced labour
While the company commits to prohibiting child and forced labour in its own operations and requires its suppliers to adhere to the same standard, it has an opportunity to disclose a policy requiring its suppliers to have an age-verification system in place and to disclose a requirement that prohibits its suppliers from retaining workers’ personal documents and restricting workers’ freedom of movement.
Farmer and fisherman resilience
The company is committed to supporting programs that promote a strong rural economy. For instance, it collaborates with Microsoft to pioneer new innovations in agriculture and expand sustainability practices for farmers. However, the company can strengthen its performance by disclosing information related to the impact of these activities.
Health and safety of vulnerable groups
The company does not disclose that it specifically recognises the health and safety risks to vulnerable groups, such as migrant and temporary labourers, women and young farmers.
The company does not commit to recognising and respecting the legitimate tenure rights related to the ownership and use of land of local communities.
Core social indicators
The core social indicators are part of the social inclusion measurement area. These indicators assess societal expectations of business conduct that companies should meet if they aspire to be part of a system transformation that leaves no one behind.
Land O’Lakes discloses a commitment to respect human rights and the ILO core labour rights and has a grievance mechanism which is accessible for both workers and external stakeholders. However, the company could improve its score by offering greater disclosure on its efforts to identify, assess and take action on its human rights salient risks. Similarly, it does not disclose how it engages with stakeholders whose human rights are potentially or actually impacted.
The company discloses expectations for its suppliers to respect the health and safety of workers but lacks similarly robust commitments in relation to its own operations. It also lacks disclosure on all other indicators related to providing and promoting decent work, including commitments and targets towards paying a living wage, achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment and supporting practices in relation to freedom of association and collective bargaining.
The company publicly commits to protecting personal data and has a privacy statement on the use of personal data, and has a policy prohibiting, a grievance mechanism and clauses in contracts with supply chain partners for bribery and corruption. However, it lacks disclosure on its approach to lobbying and political engagement, including lobbying expenditures, and does not disclose a global tax strategy.