Increased focus on sustainability in agribusiness sector, pressure growing on animal protein companies to step up

Table of Contents The six DSM sustainability platforms are:  Improving the lifetime performance of farm…

Table of Contents

“Over the past 18 months, we have seen a lot of change, [the focus on sustainability] has really accelerated. I think that is being driven on a number of fronts. On the one hand, large investors are looking at the large animal protein companies, from a risk and return point of view, and putting pressure on them to step up, in this respect. Consumers are increasingly aware of [environmental impacts of food production] and are looking for food items that are labelled credibly in relation to their sustainability footprint.

“There have been multiple surveys to determine whether consumers are willing to pay more for sustainably produced food that is labelled correctly. There is that willingness there. We see supermarkets testing that out on a limited product range.

“And the industry has to have the measurement of footprint – that is another growth area we see in animal production – life cycle assessments within farming.

“The regulatory environment is also seeing changes, with CPA farm subsidy payments being linked to environmental KPIs, for example,”​ David Nickell, vice president of sustainability, DSM Animal Nutrition and Health, told FeedNavigator.

A lot of developments underway then, but there are multiple business benefits also arising from this keener focus on sustainability: “Being able to look at your system from a sustainability viewpoint, you can see where there is wastage or leakage within that system. If companies can identify those areas and become much more precise and efficient, it is good for business, it makes perfect sense, and, of course, it is good for the environment. I think people recognize now that the two go hand in hand. Sustainability has become front and center for many businesses worldwide,”​ he added.