FRANKLIN, TENN. — Today, Mars Petcare’s brand NUTRO™ launched a new sustainability campaign to highlight the importance of protecting healthy soil as an imperative part in creating food for pets. The pet food brand has partnered with actor Ian Somerhalder, who is a pet parent and environmental advocate, to star in the new campaign.
According to the UN Food & Agriculture Organization, about 95% of all food throughout the globe is grown in soil. However, healthy soil is under threat, as every five seconds significant amounts of healthy soil are lost to erosion.
Farmers are the ultimate protectors of healthy soil, according to NUTRO, but farming practices that promote healthy soil, like regenerative agriculture, are used on small amounts of farmland. While interest in regenerative agriculture and other practices that promote soil health is rising, these practices face significant barriers for farmers, slowing the rate of transition.
To highlight this issue for consumers, NUTRO unleashed its “Tail of Two Farms” commercial starring Somerhalder. The commercial tells the story of a dog and cat who own neighboring farms and transform them using healthy soil practices. It aims to reconnect consumers with the way food is grown and the need for better farming practices.
“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,” he added.
The campaign builds upon NUTRO’s GRATER GROUND initiative launched in 2022, through which the brand planned to commit $5 million over the next five years to provide farmers in its supply chain with training, support and funding in the adoption of more healthy soil practices. According to NUTRO, it is only at the beginning of its healthy soil journey, but anticipates that GREATER GROUND will train more than 60 individuals on healthy soil farming by the end of this year.
“Soil is a finite natural resource,” said Mindy Barry, vice president of Mars Pet Nutrition US and global brand lead for NUTRO. “When soil is at risk, so is the future of the food that fills our plates and pets’ bowls. 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.”
For each view of its new “Tail of Two Farms” commercial, $1 will go toward NUTRO’s 2024 GREATER GROUND Soil Growth Grants to help farmers implement healthy soil practices, with a cap of up to $300,000 total.
The brand has also partnered with nonprofit Kiss the Ground to develop a series of short films called “Stories of Regeneration” that highlight the efforts of farmers to advance soil health.
Read more about sustainability efforts across the pet food and treat industry.