Our contribution to a sustainable livestock industry

Sustainability – a core value for ForFarmers and an integral part of our business operations

Sustainability is one of the three core values of ForFarmers, alongside ambition and partnership, and is viewed as a logical and integral part of the business operations. In the context of sustainability we focus on the ethics and working methods of our suppliers, how we can implement improvements in our own production and logistical processes and how to achieve better returns for livestock farmers whilst reducing on-farm emissions of substances such as phosphate and nitrogen. We constantly strive for ‘more with less’ – more production of animal proteins with less use of raw materials – by working efficiently and innovatively on feed solutions in which animal health and welfare play a central role. In so doing we contribute to a sustainable way to feed the growing world population.

Change layout to 2 columns

The Total Feed approach of ForFarmers: inherently sustainable

ForFarmers operates in the chain that seeks to sustainably meet the growing demand for food. Our Total Feed approach is aimed at supplying good feed and advice tuned to the different stages of an animal’s life. This approach includes concepts, such as on-farm fermentation, non-GMO and organic feed. Our concepts allow animals to efficiently produce nutritious food, in the form of milk, meat and eggs, for human consumption. Animals also produce manure, which in turn is used to grow crops. In this way our feed contributes to the creation of food.
One of our core product groups is DML, which includes residual flows (co-products) from the food industry which cannot be processed further into food for human consumption but can be used as animal feed. Of the roughly 10 million tonnes of Total Feed volume supplied annually to our customers around 2 million tonnes consist of co-products. We are the only feed company which has a dedicated mill, in the Dutch town of Lochem, to process co-products from milk processing into liquid feed for pigs.

Dialogue with stakeholders as a basis for setting our strategic course

ForFarmers maintains a constant dialogue with its stakeholders, including about sustainability topics. Last year we conducted an extensive survey to gain an insight into which sustainability topics have become less or indeed more relevant. The outcome of the survey was used to update the materiality analysis, which is included in the chapter 'Our stakeholders'. 

ForFarmers’ sustainability strategy

ForFarmers has developed a sustainability framework comprising six focus areas that we deem to be of material importance, grouped into three themes: Environment, People & Society and Animal Health and Welfare. These are the themes where we are able to exert influence within the value chain. We have defined five Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in relation to the six focus areas.
The three KPIs related to the theme Environment are further explained in this chapter.

Change layout to 1 column


Change layout to 2 columns

The KPIs that are aimed at the themes People & Society and Animal Health and Welfare are explained in the chapters ‘The value of and for our employees’ and ‘Our contribution with feed to food’.

The above is further elaborated in the connectivity table below:

Change layout to 1 column


Change layout to 2 columns

Our contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals

In 2019 ForFarmers further aligned its sustainability approach with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. The increased focus in the sustainability strategy means that the selection of SDGs to which we contribute differs from the selection in 2018. For these SDGs we also determined which underlying targets we will specifically focus on.

The current selection of SDGs is as follows:

Zero Hunger

2.4 By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters and that progressively improve land and soil quality.

Our contribution

The Total Feed approach focuses on this SDG sub-target. Through our Total Feed approach we focus on improving on-farm returns, animal health and welfare and efficiency. It is an integrated approach that takes account of the impact on the climate and environment. We achieve this by supplying livestock farmers not just with feed but also with advice and monitoring tools. In doing so we aim to improve feed efficiency – or ‘more (production) with less (feed)’ – whilst reducing emissions (e.g. CO2, phosphate and ammonia), improving the quality of forage on-farm and using manure effectively.

Responsible production and consumption

12.2 By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources.
12.3 By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses.

Our contribution

Using residual flows (co-products) in the production of animal feed prevents food loss. Animals are able to efficiently process low-quality nutrients from residual flows and co-products which are unsuitable for direct human consumption into high-quality animal proteins that are suitable for human consumption. Around 20% of the roughly 10 million tonnes of Total Feed volume that ForFarmers supplies annually to customers consists of co-products. We are constantly looking for ways of using new residual flows which can either be used directly or as ingredients for animal feed, such as chocolate spread for pig farming.
In addition we supply nutritional solutions that help customers and vets to reduce the quantity of antibiotics used in livestock farming. In doing so we draw on the experiences gained in the Netherlands and Germany, where sector agreements prohibit the addition of medication to feed.

Climate action

13.3 Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning.

Our contribution

As well as giving advice on the technical performance of animals ForFarmers also gives advice on climate-related subjects. In the Netherlands for example we take part in the KringloopWijzer programme, a nutrient management system that dairy farmers can use to record the use of minerals (phosphate, nitrogen and carbon) in their business. In addition we help livestock farmers with fertilisation plans and forage optimisation.
In order to promote internal awareness and knowledge-sharing, for example on circular farming, we have established specie-specific academies in which the advisers participate. In addition we are involved in various external networks in this area. Via our 400+ feed advisers we reach around 27,000 livestock farmers. Furthermore we carefully analyse climate risks and have control measures in place to manage these.

Life on land

15.2 By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally.
15.5 Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species.

Our contribution

ForFarmers endorses the Amazon Soy Moratorium, which is aimed at ensuring that European animal feed uses no soy derived from lands in the Amazon which have been subject to deforestation since 2008. Furthermore in 2019 we worked closely with the European Feed Manufacturers’ Federation (FEFAC) on launching the Responsible Soy Declaration, an online platform where European feed manufacturers can voluntarily state their commitment to purchase responsibly produced soy.


The purchasing policy of ForFarmers is focused on the purchasing of responsibly produced palm oil and soy. ForFarmers follows the Sedex supplier code when purchasing other raw materials.

Climate-related risks and opportunities

In 2019 ForFarmers made a more specific analysis of the climate-related risks and opportunities. The risks and opportunities surrounding climate developments, along with ForFarmers’ response to these, are a regular topic of discussion for the Risk Advisory Board and the Sustainability Task Force. In the risk management chapter climate risk is also specifically highlighted.

Change layout to 1 column

Change layout to 2 columns

Management of sustainability activities

The sustainability activities are governed by two committees: the Sustainability Advisory Board, chaired by the CEO of ForFarmers, and the Sustainability Task Force under the responsibility of the Director Strategy & Organisation. Progress with regard to sustainability is one of the qualitative targets for the long-term variable remuneration for the members of the Executive Board.

More detailed information about the sustainability strategy (including governance, reporting criteria and a description of the KPIs) can be found in the sustainability appendix on the corporate website.

A closer look at focus areas and KPIs

Progress was made in 2019 in terms of measuring and reporting. All the countries introduced quarterly updates for the five KPIs to report on the performance and results achieved to the Executive Committee. The updates also set out what future actions are planned to achieve further improvement in the results. The three KPIs related to the theme Environment are further explained in this chapter.
The KPIs that are aimed at the themes People & Society and Animal Health and welfare are explained in the chapters ‘The value of and for our employees’ and ‘Our contribution with feed to food’.

1. Limit phosphate emissions

Why this is part of ForFarmers’ sustainability strategy

Limiting phosphate emissions is viewed as a relevant focus area as phosphate emissions by animals pollute surface water. The EU has therefore imposed phosphate production ceilings for all member states. In view of the intensive livestock farming in the Netherlands a higher ceiling has been set for Dutch livestock farmers than for farmers in other European countries. Measures were taken in 2018 in order to stay below the phosphate ceiling. These included reducing the amount of phosphate in feed. Measuring phosphate efficiency is of material importance, particularly in the Netherlands, and is therefore considered a KPI. After all, too much phosphate in feed increases emissions into the environment and hence the risk of production-limiting measures, while too little phosphate leads to possible animal health issues and reduces livestock performance.

What was done in 2019

Until 2019 we focused on monitoring phosphate efficiency only in the dairy sector and swine sector in the Netherlands. We influence phosphate efficiency through feed solutions by [continually focusing on] better utilisation of nutrients and using the latest generation of phytase enzymes. The ForFarmers NIC is involved in various pilot programmes to develop feed concepts that reduce phosphate emissions, for example the recently introduced Ultra concept. We also work constantly to update and enhance the accuracy of the phosphate data in our systems. This new phosphate data enables us to get even closer to the optimum feed requirement and can also be used to further improve feed efficiency. In 2019 we also analysed the phosphate efficiency of poultry, both layers (eggs) and broilers (meat), in the Netherlands.

How progress is measured

In the Netherlands we are involved in the KringloopWijzer programme, a nutrient management system for dairy farmers to record the use of minerals (phosphate, nitrogen and carbon) in their farming business. The feed and tools we supply to livestock farmers enables them to monitor the phosphate efficiency of their business and to limit the phosphate losses which cause pollution.

The table below shows phosphate efficiency in 2018. The results are always one year behind the current year due to data availability. Given that the reliable data required for the calculation of phosphate efficiency is only available for Dutch farmers, the scope is limited to the Netherlands.

Change layout to 1 column

Phosphate efficiency (only for The Netherlands)

  2018 2017
  % Number of farms in the sample % Number of farms in the sample
Dairy 38.4% 2,273 38.4% 2,343
Swine fattening 54.4% 243 54.0% 245
Sows 43.4% 95 41.8% 99
Swine breeder & feeder farms (sows and fattening)* 50.8% 62 48.6% 54
Broilers – regular 64.5%  192  63.7%  187
Broilers – animal health and welfare concepts  49.2%  470  48.9%  458
Layers – regular  16.2%  23 15.7%   19
Layers – animal health and welfare concepts  15.5%  19  14.3%  18
The results are one year behind the current year due to data availability
* Closed herd pig farms
Source: ForFarmers

Change layout to 2 columns

Phosphate efficiency in the dairy farming sector was unchanged in 2018 compared to 2017. However, the sample included fewer dairy farmers than in the previous year as a result of the discontinuation of businesses. Phosphate efficiency in the swine sector showed a slight improvement in 2018. Our ongoing efforts aimed at optimising nutritional composition resulted in an improvement in feed conversion and thus higher phosphate efficiency among fattening pigs. The improvement in phosphate efficiency in the pig breeding segment was mainly related to a year-on-year increase in the number of piglets per sow and a slight improvement in feed conversion. As of 2019 we are able to also report the phosphate efficiency in poultry with retroactive effect over the last few years. This shows the efficiency has been improved in small steps. The contradiction between nutrient efficiency and system husbandry is clear in poultry: animals kept in more welfare-friendly systems achieve a clearly lower phosphate efficiency. In order to present a comparison in the most accurate manner, phosphate efficiency in poultry is reported according to two main categories, i.e. regular production system and welfare system.

The higher the phosphate utilisation rate (also referred to as phosphate efficiency), the better. It is however, impossible to achieve phosphate utilisation of 100%. Phosphate efficiency in 2018 was virtually stable compared to in 2017, with the best performing 25% of dairy farmers achieving an average efficiency of 43%, reflecting efficiency for fattening pigs of 61%, for sows of 53% and for swine breeder & feeder farms (sows and fattening pigs) of 56%. The figure for layers in the regular system was 18% and for those in the welfare system 17%. Phosphate efficiency for broilers in the regular system was 68% and for those in the welfare system 53%.   

CHALLENGE: Climate and nitrogen debate: no straightforward solutions
There is growing public interest in livestock farming in Western Europe. Climate (in relation to GHG emissions) and environment (for instance in relation to lowering nitrogen depositions in order to protect nature and biodiversity) are the principal themes.
Consumers, governments and supply chain parties are calling for more attention to be paid to these themes.
The animal chain is faced with the challenge of complying with sustainability parameters which are increasingly being tightened in various countries, thus limiting the licence to produce. There is a risk that measures will be proposed or taken under which a perceived sustainability gain will take preference over actual sustainability gains in the medium term. With its objective to limit GHG emissions ForFarmers is addressing the Climate theme. We are also active in terms of the Environment theme by working with parties in the chain on possibilities for limiting nitrogen depositions, for example by optimising the amount of crude protein in the diet (too much protein pushes up nitrogen emissions). This is conditional on neither the animal’s health nor its performance being compromised. Technical changes to sheds and different ways of using manure can also help reduce nitrogen emissions. Tests aimed at reducing for example nitrogen emissions also look at the side effects on for example phosphate emissions.

2. Limit greenhouse gas emissions

Why this is part of ForFarmers’ sustainability strategy

Like other industries the livestock nutrition and livestock farming chain emits greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases contribute to climate change. We therefore monitor the greenhouse gas emissions of our own operations both per tonne of feed produced and overall.
This involves measuring the amount of gas, oil and diesel (scope 1) and electricity (scope 2) used in the production of feed and by our own vehicle fleet. This is an area where we can make a difference through our own actions, although the greenhouse gas emissions produced within scope 1 and 2 are minimal compared to those produced in scope 3 (emissions produced in our raw materials supply chain and emissions on-farm).
In order to help livestock farmers lower their carbon footprint we also focus on delivering Total Feed solutions, i.e. optimally sustainable feed concepts combined with advice. This includes the use of co-products from the food and drink industries (DML products such as whey, beet pulp, brewers grains and palm kernels) and optimising feed conversion, i.e. more production with less feed (and hence less use of scarce raw materials).
Using systems to monitor phosphate emissions is another example of how we are working to improve the carbon footprint of the sector. The willingness of both politicians and livestock farmers to agree improvement plans, as well as that of consumers to contribute to the additional costs, are crucial in this respect.

What was done in 2019

In 2019 we carried out the following important activities to limit greenhouse gas emissions:

Scope 1 and 2
We use an energy savings matrix in relation to our production activities, which sets out a list of projects in the various countries aimed at improving energy efficiency. For example at various factories in the United Kingdom we invested in new equipment that reduces the amount of energy consumed during the production process.

In addition we want to make increasing use of renewable energy. In this context the new biomass plant in Lochem came on stream in 2019. The plant can supply virtually all the energy needed by the Lochem mill to produce steam, used to press feed into pellets. The biomass plant enables us to save around 1.7 million cubic metres of natural gas a year. It was an absolute precondition for us that the plant should be fuelled solely by local waste wood. This is supplied by the cooperative Coöperatie Streekhout Achterhoek.

We also take measures to improve the energy efficiency of our transport activities (logistics). For example:

  • The amount of fuel (in litres) per tonne of feed delivered is measured and reviewed on a monthly basis and any ideas for making improvements that result from this are shared.

  • Energy efficiency is improved by efficient vehicle planning, which increases utilisation and capacity fill.

  • Tests with silo measuring systems are being conducted in the United Kingdom to better determine order timings and thus be able to plan more efficient loading resulting in lower emissions per tonne of product transported.

  • In 2019 we continued to invest in new, more efficient trucks – especially in the United Kingdom – replacing trucks with Euro 4 or 5 engines with more efficient ones with Euro 6 engines. We are already operating these more fuel-efficient vehicles on the Continent. In Germany we are conducting tests with alternative, cleaner fuels (LNG).

  • A project has started in Germany to transport raw materials by rail rather than road.

  • Various projects were introduced aimed at optimum deployment of trucks, minimising the number of empty trips made, efficient loading with larger trailers and encouraging drivers to increase their fuel economy.

  • In 2018 a pilot was launched involving the unloading of feed from trucks using batteries (electric). During 2019 it became clear that the recharging of the batteries while driving (using energy released when braking) was not yet working properly. A decision will be taken in 2020, based on the opportunities for improvement then available, as to whether this project will be continued.

Our efforts on-farm
We contribute as much as we can to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the supply chain and on-farm. Monitoring and measuring GHG emissions on-farm in a consistent way is still challenging, and is therefore not yet included as a KPI.  
We apply the Sedex supplier code to ensure our purchasing complies with recognised social, ethical and environmental standards. At farm level we help livestock farmers with our Total Feed approach comprising feed and advice. We are also involved in the KringloopWijzer programme. In 2019 we launched Ultra, a new feed concept for finishers. The concept is aimed at optimum feed conversion, which also reduces the carbon footprint and land use.


Furthermore it contributes to animal health, for example with better intestinal health, calmer pigs and lower failure rates. In the ruminant sector we are involved in a project to reduce the carbon and methane footprint of feed concepts. And in the poultry sector we launched the Apollo concept in Belgium, following the proven success in our other countries of operation. The Apollo concept is also aimed at improving feed efficiency, with a lower carbon footprint and less land use.
It is a challenge to develop concepts with a balanced impact on the three themes. For example, while lowering greenhouse gas emissions and land use has a positive impact on the environment it is often at the expense of animal welfare. For instance the Gildehoen concept for broilers complies with the wish of consumers for the birds to live longer lives in larger sheds, thus improving animal welfare, but the concept results in a higher carbon footprint because it requires the use of more raw materials over a longer period.

Change layout to 1 column

A darker shade of green indicaties greater relevance
Source: ForFarmers

How progress is measured with respect to scope 1 and 2

Greenhouse gas emissions (Kg of CO2 per tonne feed)

  2019 2018
  Scope 1 Scope 2 Scope 1 Scope 2
  Production   Logistics Production Production Logistics Production
  Gas Kerosene Medium Oil Gas oil Diesel Electricity* Gas Kerosene Medium oil Diesel Electricity
Netherlands 3.67       5.75 16.95 4.08     5.55 16.1
Germany 3.5       6.45 7.03 3.63     6.71 11.94
Belgium 2.48         3.76 2.19       4.75
UK 4.71 1.36 0.41 0.11 11.25 13.59 4.48 1.28 0.32 10.85 20.67
Total 3.88 1.36 0.41 0.11 8.49 13.81 4.02 1.28 0.32 8.29 16.21
*The GHG emissions from scope 2 are based on the market-based method. For comparison purposes, the GHG emissions per tonne feed from scope 2 according to the location-based method were in total 17.23 (NL: 18.30; Germany: 11.88; Belgium: 3.75; UK: 20.68). This increase compared to 2018 can be related to the changed national conversion factors.

Greenhouse gas emissions (Total tonnes of CO2)

  2019 2018
  Scope 1 Scope 2 Scope 1 Scope 2
  Production   Logistics Production Production Logistics Production
  Gas Kerosene Medium Oil Gas oil Diesel Electricity* Gas Kerosene Medium oil Diesel Electricity
Netherlands 11,171       6,943 51,654 12,799     6,789 50,456
Germany 2,723       2,951 5,466 2,857     3,326 9,395
Belgium 962         1,459 904       1,958
UK 8,398 2,418 733 198 17,237 24,212 8,471 2,424 600 17,522 39,072
Total 23,254 2,418 733 198 27,131 82,792 25,031 2,424 600 27,637 100,881
*The GHG emissions from scope 2 are based on the market-based method. For comparison purposes, the GHG emissions from scope 2 according to the location-based method were in total 103,298 (NL: 55,760; Germany: 9,231; Belgium: 1,456; UK: 36,850). This increase compared to 2018 can be related to the changed national conversion factors.

Change layout to 2 columns

In 2019 we switched to a better, more accurate way of reporting carbon emissions. In previous years we converted energy consumption into carbon dioxide using the generally applicable factors in the respective countries based on the national energy mix. As from 2019 we have switched to the market approach, which means that we use the CO2 conversion factors of our energy suppliers based on the energy actually supplied to us. The renewable energy that we use generates fewer carbon emissions and is now also included in the calculations. This creates a more realistic picture of our carbon emissions. We will continue to use this method in the future.

Total tonnes of CO2 per source all show a decrease compared to previous year. This is mainly caused by ongoing execution of energy savings projects (such as the construction of the biomass installation), a lower production volume and a greener energy mix.This will continue to be our focus for 2020. The decrease in the greenhouse gas emissions in scope 2 – electricity – is significant. This is partly due to a change in method of measuring which takes into account the CO2 emission factor of the actually delivered electricity mix, which is increasingly comprised of green energy.

The CO2 per tonne feed, the intensity ratios, show a decrease on gas and electricity compared to last year. Diesel impact however increased slightly. Although total diesel emissions decreased versus last year, when measured per tonne they grew slightly. This can be explained by the fact that capacity fill was lower and customer distance was higher, particularly for specific new feed concepts. In the Netherlands for example, non-GMO feed concepts are only manufactured in Deventer. Despite driver challenge and new trucks, diesel emissions per tonne were slightly higher as delivering the highest service levels was also a prime goal.

CHALLENGE: measuring emissions throughout the value chain
ForFarmers recognises that scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions produced in the inbound logistical chain by growing, producing and supplying raw materials and by the consumption of feed by animals on-farm are significant. However, comparable and consistent measurement of these emissions remains challenging. Without reliable data it is difficult to ascertain whether scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions fell compared to a year earlier. We are therefore actively involved in European and international initiatives towards a standard methodology for calculating the environmental impact of the production and consumption of animal feed. In December 2018 the Global Feed LCA Institute, an independent initiative by the feed industry, launched an initial version of the Feed Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) database of feed materials. The database was updated in 2019 and an improved version was launched providing environmental impact information on almost 1,000 major ingredients of animal feed. We are now using this data and these tools to calculate the emissions associated with processing raw materials and are able to calculate the carbon footprint of each individual feed concept. This information can be made available for example to chain partners who wish to move towards including carbon impact data in their labelling.

3. Minimise the use of land, water and energy

Why this is part of ForFarmers’ sustainability strategy

Minimising the use of land, water and energy throughout the supply chain is very important to ForFarmers and many of its stakeholders. The issues concern matters such as deforestation and other types of land use associated with growing raw materials that are imported into the EU, in particular soy and palm oil. In 2025 all soymeal and palm oil purchased by ForFarmers will be 100% certified.

As a socially responsible enterprise we aim to purchase raw materials in accordance with recognised social, ethical and environmental standards. We do so in line with the Sedex supplier code , which sets out the shared responsibilities of suppliers with regard to the purchasing of raw materials. It includes standards on business ethics aimed at preventing bribery, discrimination, corruption and fraudulent business practices, and employment practices that comply with ILO standards.
As concerns the total product-related procurement spend in 2019, more than 83% of the suppliers subscribed to either the Sedex code or another supplier code of conduct (2018: over 80%). As concerns the non-product-related procurement spend in 2019, over 35% of the suppliers subscribed to a code of conduct. In 2019 we also started applying the Sedex code to DML suppliers (over 30%), a category not included before. All together this represented more than 69% of total annual non-product-related spend. Relationships with suppliers who do not wish to work in accordance with the Sedex code will be phased out.

What was done in 2019
  • In 2019 FEFAC launched the Responsible Soy Declaration, an online platform where European feed manufacturers can voluntarily state their commitment to purchase responsibly produced soy. ForFarmers worked tirelessly to realise this initiative at a European and sector level. It will help transform the soy market. The president of FEFAC is also the Director Corporate Affairs of ForFarmers. 

  • ForFarmers is a member of the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) and the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and was actively involved in developing the guidelines for soy sourcing published by the European Feed Manufacturers’ Federation (FEFAC) in 2015.

    74.7% of soy meal and 70% of palm oil purchased complied with ForFarmers’ sustainability criteria. In the United Kingdom all palm oil which was purchased was certified.
    Furthermore, ForFarmers endorses the Amazon Soy Moratorium, which is aimed at ensuring that European animal feed uses no soy derived from lands in the Amazon which have been subject to deforestation since 2008. ForFarmers businesses in the Netherlands and Belgium already purchase 100% certified soy.

  • Active involvement in developing new sector initiatives (e.g. Round Table on Responsible Soy in the UK) to encourage adoption by the sector and create a level playing field.

CHALLENGE: Is regional purchasing more sustainable?
There are various ongoing initiatives aimed at promoting regional purchasing of raw materials. These are based on concerns about the livestock sector’s dependency on imports of high-protein raw materials such as soy from non-European countries (95% of soy in the EU is imported).
While we understand the concerns we also see the challenges. European soy is of inferior quality because the growing conditions are less favourable than closer to the equator, more water is needed for growing and more energy is used for regional growing; this may result in a larger environmental footprint despite the shorter transport distances. The stakeholder survey held in 2019 showed that stakeholders consider lowering the carbon footprint to be more important than local or regional purchasing of raw materials. 
We are also working on developing protein substitutes in order to reduce our dependency on soy. However, many of the existing alternatives increase the environmental impact of livestock farming rather than reducing it. For example some protein substitutes cause higher phosphate emissions. Moreover all the current options mean livestock farmers face higher costs to maintain performance, and therefore higher prices for consumers.

How progress is measured

% sustainable soy bean meal and palm oil purchases

  Percentage of sustainable soy bean meal purchases Percentage of sustainable palm oil purchases
  2019 2018 2019 2018
Total 74.7% 74.8% 70% 70%

Water usage was not flagged as a material topic by stakeholders in the 2019 survey. Nevertheless as a responsible organisation we consider it important to ensure that wastage and pollution of water is kept to a minimum, both in our own processes and in the chain.
Water is used during the manufacturing process to generate steam to press pellets. We realise that there needs to be a balance between the use of steam and electricity consumption during the manufacturing process. On-farm, we focus on improving efficiency by helping farmers to reduce their water consumption. The trend toward lower crude protein diets also translates into lower water consumption by livestock.