In this file:
· Smithfield Announces Goal to Become Carbon Negative by 2030
· Food's Role in Climate Change Mitigation
Smithfield Announces Goal to Become Carbon Negative by 2030
Katie James, FarmJournal's Pork
September 9, 2020
Smithfield Foods has announced that it has committed to becoming carbon negative in all company-owned operations in the U.S. by 2030. It aims to go beyond carbon neutrality and remove more carbon from the atmosphere than it emits and will achieve this goal without purchasing carbon credits to offset emissions, a company release says.
"As the world grapples with environmental challenges impacting our planet, consumers are looking to companies to take deliberate, bold action to address issues such as climate change," said Kenneth M. Sullivan, president and chief executive officer, Smithfield Foods, in the release. "The world is at an inflection point. To feed a growing world population, with finite resources available to grow and produce the food we need, we must limit our environmental impact. At Smithfield, we are utilizing our expansive reach to lead efforts to eliminate our carbon footprint in our company-owned operations and remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere."
The new carbon goal builds on the company’s other goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 25% by 2025 across its entire supply chain, which was announced in 2016. In 2017, it launched Smithfield Renewables, a platform to unite its carbon reduction and renewable energy efforts, the release says.
To become carbon negative, the company will use resources and expertise from a “wide range of partners” to accelerate projects within its Smithfield Renewables program, while continuing to make progress toward its “25 by 25” goal across its scope 1-3 emissions.
The release says the company plans to make changes on its company-owned farms, food production facilities, through transportation and logistics and conservation activities. More about each of these initiatives is below.
On Smithfield's Farms ...
At Smithfield's Food Production Facilities ...
Transportation and Logistics ...
Conservation Activities ...
Food's Role in Climate Change Mitigation
By Victoria Campisi, The Food Institute
Sep 10, 2020
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Zoological Society of London named the food and agriculture industries major factors in climate change mitigation, reported Bloomberg (Sept. 9).
Their study, which focuses on biodiversity loss, says expanded conservation, increasing agricultural yields, eliminating food waste, and halving global meat intake could make the biggest change when it comes to preserving animal populations.
The report shows that animal communities shrunk on average 68% between 1970 and 2016, with some parts of the world much worse off. The tropical Americas have seen animal populations decline 94% in the same period and the size of observed animal communities in or near freshwater globally have fallen by 84%.
“One of the things that science has told us in the last decade so clearly is that we depend on intact natural systems and intact natural ecosystems, in all its component parts, to deliver those things we count on every day: clean air, clean water, pollination, a stable climate, food, healthy soils to produce the foods we eat,” said Rebecca Shaw, WWF’s chief scientist and chair of the report’s steering group. “And what this index tells you is a very important component of that health is declining and declining fast.”
Crops are especially vulnerable to climate change, but new research suggests wild relatives of domesticated crops could help keep food production resilient during climate change, according to a study from an international team at the American Society of Agronomy.
The team claims that adding wild relatives to crop breeding programs could add resilience, reported ScienceDaily (Sept. 9).
“Crop wild relatives have been selected by nature over millennia to withstand the very climatic stresses that we are trying to address, and hence present a new hope,” said Filippo Bassi, a scientist in Morocco at the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas.
It can still be risky to change how breeders work. “Before making the final decision to shift investments from normal breeding to the use of crop wild relatives, it is critical to make sure that there is a real advantage in doing so,” Bassi said. To test the idea, the team focused on durum wheat.
Wild wheat relatives showed a yield increase of 42% during heat stress, but wild relatives are not bred for taste and may require experimentation to reach the flavors and ease of use customers expect.
These latest findings come amid reports that nations are not living up to commitments made in recent years to address biodiversity loss.
However, the food industry is taking steps to tackle the issue. For example, Tyson Foods recently became the first U.S. food company to verify sustainable cattle production practices at scale.
Working with Where Food Comes From, the largest provider of certification and verification services to the food industry, Tyson Foods will source cattle from BeefCARE verified beef producers who are committed to raising cattle using practices that positively impact the land and animals, and also want to promote it.
The company will purchase over 3 million Progressive Beef-certified cattle in 2020, which is more than half of Tyson’s cattle supply chain. These efforts reportedly create the largest beef transparency program in the country.
Additionally, Smithfield Foods committed to become carbon negative in the U.S. by 2030. The company plans to remove more carbon from the atmosphere than it emits by purchasing carbon credits.
Its efforts will include focusing on the fertilizer, soil health practices, and renewable energy projects for its farms as well as reducing emissions at over 40 processing facilities. The company will also use a logistics optimization plan to reduce miles driven.
On the foodservice side...
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