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OpenInnovation

Breaking new ground

How UPL's smart climate technology can change the face of agriculture in challenging environments.

Achieving ongoing prosperity in today’s increasingly fragile world means creating and implementing sustainable environmental food solutions within our industry. For a global food and beverage producer such as PepsiCo, whose multiple household brands includes Walkers and Lay’s potato chips, water availability for their operations is a serious issue.

Did you know that Saudi Arabia’s government banned export of PepsiCo potato chips into the Gulf region as they equate exporting of chips to exporting of water? PepsiCo challenged themselves to improve water-use efficiency of their direct agricultural supply chain by 15%. In high-water-risk-areas, this volume is equivalent to the entire water use of all PepsiCo’s direct operations.

This was the perfect opportunity to see how UPL technology might change the face of agriculture in areas where saving water is critical and growing conditions are challenging. Zeba is our patented starch-based smart climate technology, a ground- breaking innovation that absorbs water and releases it back to plants when they need it, creating healthier plants, more uniform crops and higher yields. PepsiCo worked in close collaboration with UPL to trial Zeba in multiple locations, and the early results, we’re pleased to say, were excellent.

Overall Impact

With Zeba’s smart climate technology, PepsiCo has been able to demonstrate their water conservation initiatives to the region’s government, and their potato farming operations in the Middle East have seen game-changing results, including:

  • 11 - 20% water saving per ton of potatoes grown, improved product yield and quality
  • Reduction of environmental impact: Zeba also reduces the leaching of nitrates, which makes more nutrients available to the plant

As the early commercialisation and large-scale trials continue, we’ll be sharing Zeba performance updates in coming months.