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Rising to the challenge of sustainability

Climate change and sustainability will play an important role in the future of agriculture and dairy farming. Placing sustainability at the forefront of what ForFarmers does offers opportunities for farmers to meet the needs of retailers and consumers, but also to be custodians of our countryside, farming for future generations to come. 

ForFarmers is already working with farmers to help achieve ambitious sustainability targets and to meet retailer and consumer demands. We have already responded positively to the market by providing a small range of products which contain no soya and no palm, with options available for milking cows, dry cows and youngstock. 

Soya

Soya still plays an important role in ruminant diets, as one of the most efficient sources of crude protein, amino acids and true digestible protein (TDP) supply. ForFarmers understand that not all soya is equal – that is why we were involved in the development of the FEFAC Soy Sourcing guidelines. These guidelines encourage a mainstream market transition to responsible soy and also takes action to reduce the associated deforestation issues. 

ForFarmers fully support the FEFAC (European Feed Manufacturers Association) Soy Sourcing guidelines. We certify 100% of our soya bean meal used in all ruminant feed, both compounds and blends, as well as soya supplied directly to farm as a straight. Our certifications on soya have been in place for a number of years and provide the reassurance that the material we buy has been grown as part of a responsible and sustainable soya scheme and in line with the Amazonian moratorium. Since the implementation of the moratorium, soy-related deforestation has decreased while Amazonian soy production has increased by 400%, showing that agricultural output can be increased while protecting tropical forests. 

Using specifically certified Soya (20 year Non Land Use Change Soya) helps to lower a farm’s carbon footprint by 10-15% (CO2eq/kg milk), and we are committed to continually enhancing our soy certification in order to help our customers further. For the UK, ForFarmers has committed to these specific certificates for our retail customers. 

Soya

Using data to excel

With many of our customers now subject to on-farm sustainability audits as a requirement of their milk contract, we are committed to supporting them with the data they need. We are currently developing the ability to automate the generation of individual raw material tonnages supplied to each of our customers in order to make this data easily available if required. 

Reducing our customers carbon footprint

We are also committed to supporting our farmers to measure the effect of their full ration on their overall CO2. By building CO2 equivalent emission ‘nutrient’ numbers into our formulation system and translating this into our Optifeed rationing package we can help our customers work on ways to reduce their carbon footprint. 

This can be achieved by helping farmers produce and utilise more high quality home grown forage, as well exploring ways to manage how the total feeds we supply ferment in a cow’s rumen, with the goal of reducing methane emissions and overall carbon footprint. 

Wind turbines

The industry is working towards carbon zero

The UK Government has a target to be carbon zero by 2050 and many milk processors have gone further. Here are some examples:

Arla aims to achieve Carbon Net Zero in all its operations globally by 2050 and their main farmer target is to reduce greenhouse gas emission by 30%per kg of milk over the next decade.

First Milk has committed to be net zero by 2040 at the latest, with a target to reduce its carbon footprint at farm level by 50% by 2030, whilst achieving net zero in transport and processing by 2035.

Muller has pledged to announce clear targets and a formal commitment to make significant and sustainable progress by 2025. Currently they have pledged to reduce the CO2 intensity of operations by 20% and reduce the energy intensity of operations by 10%.

Going Circular for the future of farming

Here at ForFarmers we are reinforcing our key focus on sustainability by Going Circular. 

Going circular framework

“As part of our dedication to becoming a leader in Going Circular we will also invest in initiatives to make our business, and the industry as a whole, more sustainable. This includes investing in the development of a carbon neutral factory and increasing our use of renewable energy. Finally, being a leader in Going Circular also means that we will work side by side with our customers to anticipate and address future challenges together for the future of farming.”

Head to our dedicated sustainbility area to find out more about Going Circular