Cargill has launched BeefUp Sustainability, an initiative to reduce greenhouse gas intensity by 30% across its North American beef supply chain by 2030. The initiative will focus on four areas: grazing management, feed production, innovation and food waste reduction.
The initiative will have a 2017 baseline measured on a per-lb-of-product basis. A 30% reduction would equate to removing 2 million cars from U.S. highways for a year, according to Minneapolis-based Cargill.
“Significantly reducing G.H.G. requires change across the entire supply chain,” said Heather Tansey, sustainability lead for Cargill’s global nutrition and protein businesses. “We know the time to act is now and that agriculture can be part of the solution. We’re investing in science-based practices and have identified focus areas that will ensure we have the greatest environmental impact.”
BeefUp Sustainability will engage multiple stakeholders, including producers, customers and innovators.
As part of BeefUp Sustainability, Cargill will expand its partnership with The Nature Conservancy, an environmental organization based in Arlington, Va. Over the next three years Cargill and The Nature Conservancy will work with farmers and ranchers to demonstrate how grazing management planning and adaptive management improve sustainability outcomes related to soil, carbon storage, vegetation, wildlife habitat, water and other ecological parameters.
Cargill also is sponsoring the Yield Lab Institute’s Manure Innovation Challenge, which connects start-ups and other companies to create ways to capture the value from manure-based nutrients, fiber and energy.
Improving feeding practices and the digestibility of cattle diets also may assist in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Cargill pointed out findings from the F.A.O. showing the North American beef supply chain is more than 35% more efficient from a greenhouse gas perspective than the global average. Cargill also pointed out U.S. farmers and ranchers produce 18% of the world’s beef with 8% of the world’s cattle.