The world’s largest pork processor and hog producer, valued at U$15bn, has achieved an industry-leading recognition for its sustainable farming practices within its supply chain.
Smithfield Foods announced in a statement this week that it had engaged 80% of its grain supply chain in farming practices that are sustainable and reduce the cost of production for grain farmers. The company had announced an initial goal of engaging 75% of its grain supply chain and in 2018 Smithfield announced that it would purchase grain from producers using efficient fertiliser and soil health methods across nearly 560,000 acres of land.
Smithfield is working towards an ambitious goal of reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 25% by 2025 throughout its entire supply chain in a move that has been described as the “first commitment of its kind” from a protein company.
“This accomplishment is a significant milestone in our company’s holistic approach to reducing carbon emissions across our entire supply chain,” said Kenneth M. Sullivan, president and chief executive officer for Smithfield Foods. “It is important to note that it would not have been possible without the unified efforts of grain farmers, our company, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), and other collaborative partners. This is an important achievement for everyone involved and for our environment.”
The company has been working with EDF to better understand how farmers can optimise fertiliser use and improve soil health through the Smithfield Agronomics programme – SmithfieldGro. SmitfieldGro provides on-staff agronomists who demonstrate strategies and provide free agronomic advice to enable farmers to incorporate more efficient fertiliser practices, access to reduced-price tools and programs that assist farmers in improving fertiliser usage, crop production, water quality, and soil health and economic incentives to diversify crop production and create a market for winter wheat cover crops.