Ahead of the Animal AgTech Innovation Summit, Alexandra Experton, Sustainability Leader, Animal Nutrition at Cargill shares her perspectives on advancing sustainability and digital insights for feed and nutrition.
Cargill Animal Nutrition offers products and services across the whole food supply chain. Tell us more about your supply chain opportunities to improve sustainability and animal nutrition?
Cargill’s reach in feed, food and agricultural supply chains positions our Animal Nutrition business as a unique partner to our customers in addressing and solving the most pressing sustainability challenges of our time. Cargill® Animal Nutrition draws on sustainable raw material sourcing, nutrition and formulation expertise, product innovation and digital technology to enable data-driven decisions to improve animal welfare and efficiency, and reduce impacts on the environment from animal production. We serve an array of customers and provide tailored solutions to meet their unique needs – whether they are just starting the journey, understanding how to address sustainability challenges, or they are already well on their way to driving change and looking to accelerate impact.
We partner with suppliers and customers to understand the footprint of products through life cycle analysis enabling a better picture of areas of potential improvement. To achieve these improvements, Cargill® is providing alternative ingredients, such as insect oil in monogastric diets, which replaces palm kernel oil resulting in a lower carbon footprint. On the ruminant’s side, our feed solution SilvAir® is proven to reduce methane production by 10%, with no negative impacts on animal performance and welfare, while providing an alternative source of dietary protein and calcium.
In summary, our Cargill® Animal Nutrition business plays an important role in helping our customers reduce the carbon intensity of animal protein production. We are looking at this challenge in a holistic manner: improving feed conversion rates, optimizing animal health, and innovating new additives and nutrition solutions that reduce emissions and impacts on water.
Tell us how digital insights are advancing sustainable feed and nutrition?
Digital solutions are a critical part of the sustainability journey – to make the right decisions we need data and insights. Our digital solutions and actionable insights available from real-time monitoring empower customers to modernize farming, improve decision-making, and maximize animal production and performance through nutrition and farm management. For example, our modern formulation technology Cargill® Nutrient System (CNS) allows for improvements in production efficiency and environmental impact of diets, and feed producers can use information from CNS through our rationing programs. These programs allow us to match the animal requirements at specific life stages and reduce waste and improve feed efficiency.
When we talk about life-cycle analysis (LCA), one of the biggest challenges we face today is how to get the right inputs. We want to make it simpler: by integrating our farm management tools and nutritional expertise to help our customers get the right inputs for the LCA, and most importantly, help them interpret and make decisions based on the output. Therefore, we see digital solutions as enablers of more sustainable livestock systems.
Cargill has recently put a lot of focus into soy production, why has this been such a key area for the company?
Feed production, including related land use change, accounts for about 45% of emissions related to animal production. Cargill® is committed to achieving deforestation and conversion-free soy supply chains by 2030, and in the interim, we aim to be deforestation-free in soy in the critical South American biomes of the Amazon, Cerrado and Chaco by 2025. Meanwhile, the European Deforestation regulation, coming into force from early 2025, will further drive demand for deforestation free supply chains. We offer an array of solutions to support customers’ transition to more sustainable feed and deforestation-free supply chains. For example, in the UK and Italy, we offer TripleS™ soy. TripleS™ Soy, benchmarked against FEFAC’s Soy Sourcing Guidelines, is traceable to individual farms in Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay and supports farmers to continuously improve, while providing assurance to our customers through independent verification.
At the summit, you’ll be speaking on a panel titled: ‘Enabling Sustainable Feed: Sourcing, Efficiency and Circularity.’ What are you looking forward to discussing in Amsterdam?
At Cargill® Animal Nutrition we believe that sustainability is both a responsibility and an opportunity. I am hopeful when I look into the future of feed production and the role it has to play in mitigating environmental impacts. We are well positioned with the number of levers we have at hand to both reduce and enable reduction of emissions from livestock production such as deforestation-free supply chains, regenerative agriculture production, applying our nutrition system expertise, feed supplements such as Silvair®, and other lower footprint alternative ingredients like insect oil, to name a few. Sustainability is a shared challenge, but each customer has unique needs so the ability to offer a range of innovative solutions is key. I am looking forward to discussing how we are tackling this across the value chain now and into the future.
Join the Cargill team at the summit and hear more from Alexandra on the panel ‘Enabling Sustainable Feed: Sourcing, Efficiency and Circularity’ on Day 1 at 1.30pm CEST. On Day 2, Gonny Oudijk, Digital Commercial Lead, EMEA will host a roundtable discussion on ‘Feeding Sustainable Nutrition with Digital Insights’ at 12.10pm CEST.