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ADM’s Holistic Approach to Cultivating a Sustainable Food Supply

Sustainability

ADM is committed to being a responsible steward of the environment, especially as the global population expands and demand for nutritious food increases. Market demand for food will continue to grow, and we need to ensure that food production will not negatively impact the natural resources.  

According to a McKinsey & Co report, agriculture accounts for approximately 20% of global GHG emissions1.

“Measuring and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture is a transversal topic today,” said Pierre-Joseph Paoli, President of Feed Ingredients and Additives, ADM Animal Nutrition. “With a value chain spanning crop production to food and feed formulation, ADM can have a far-reaching influence with our sustainability efforts.”

In many ways, sustainability starts on the farm. Soy, corn, wheat and other crops, as well as palm byproducts like fatty acids and palm kernel meal, are important ingredients for animal feed. ADM supports sustainability from the source for the ingredients. For example, we are working with growers in Europe to use the Cool Farm Tool to pinpoint where the majority of greenhouse gases are being emitted at the farm level.

“Baseline measures inform where to focus efforts to minimize our carbon footprint,” noted Ana Yaluff, ADM’s Sustainability Manager in EMEAI. “We can quantify improvement over time and increase the sustainability performance of raw materials in our supply chain.”

In South America, transparency and traceability of our soy supply is an ongoing effort. In 2020, we reached 100% traceability for direct suppliers in the priority municipalities identified by the Soft Commodities Forum2. We invested in new and cutting-edge satellite imaging technology that enables unprecedented transparency across our supply chain. This innovation will help enable verification of our goal to achieve and report full traceability (100%) of our soy supply chains in Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay by 2022, including direct and indirect sourcing.

In sourcing palm from global processors, we work closely with our direct suppliers to provide transparency so we can maintain high level of % traceability to the mill and increase traceability to plantation. Transparency and traceability reinforce our responsibility to protect forests, biodiversity and communities. Sustainable crops are foundational in our commitment to responsible animal feeding.

ADM recently joined an international coalition of food companies that are engaged in the Food Reform for Sustainability and Health (FReSH) initiative of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. We are participating in the Responsible Meat Initiative (ReMI) to ensure the sustainable production of animal proteins.

Paoli said, “ReMI is tasked to define the criteria for responsible pork production and educate consumers on the value of nutritionally healthy and environmentally sustainable diets.”

ADM also is a member of the Global Roundtable of Sustainable Beef, a trusted source for beef sustainability information studies and research. We champion the latest research with our partners in North America and beyond, helping them adopt more sustainable practices. As part of the SAI Platform Dairy Working Group, we work towards transformational sustainability initiatives in the dairy industry, such as the Sustainable Dairy Partnership. This initiative leverages dairy processor management systems and farmer relationships, aiming to reduce audit fatigue and reduce costs by using existing resources to deliver direct benefits across the value chain.

Livestock producers armed with knowledge and best practices often look to ADM Animal Nutrition’s products to help minimize greenhouse gas emissions.

“In our approach to carve out a low-carbon future, we are conducting a full life-cycle assessment of our best-selling feed additives. This means we are analyzing the environmental impacts of a product, from the extraction of raw materials through processing, transport, use and disposal,” explained Michael Eder Global Product Director, ADM Animal Nutrition. “Understanding environmental impacts at each stage of the product life cycle allows our customers to evaluate how much they can reduce their own emissions by using our products.”

ADM also develops novel concepts to help reduce methane emission in cattle. Feed additives and supplements can help improve the digestive process within the cow, which minimizes enteric emissions – the belches that are a byproduct of ruminant digestion. In vivo and in vitro studies are underway at ADM research facilities to identify new potential additives that could further lower enteric methane emissions and support livestock producers in reducing their carbon footprint. The aim is to increase performance while reducing emissions, therefore creating a self-sustaining virtuous circle of additive use, without imposing additional costs to the producers. 

Our focus on responsible animal feeding also applies to aquaculture – the farming of shrimp, tilapia and other fish. For example, in the Asia-Pacific region we are reducing the high levels of fish meal and fish oil in shrimp feed by replacing it with plant-based alternatives and incorporating organic trace minerals to boost the availability of essential nutrients. These mineral supplements not only support increased shrimp yields, but they can also help lower the amount of mineral wastes excreted in the environment.

With our international reach and long value chain, ADM is strategically positioned to have an impact on factors that affect everything from human health to climate change. Our holistic sustainability efforts include promoting regenerative agriculture practices, reducing our environmental footprint and helping our customers do the same, ensuring a deforestation-free supply chain and protecting human rights. While any one of these efforts is a significant undertaking, it requires a multifaceted approach to make a real difference. This work is essential to help us ensure a responsible, continuous and nutritious food supply for the global population.

Not all products are available in all regions. ADM makes no representation or warranty, whether expressed or implied, as to the reliability, or completeness of the information. The uses and claims should be adapted to comply to the current local/ regional regulatory environment. This information does not imply any express recommendations for the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease.

1McKinsey & Company, “Agriculture and Climate Change: Reducing emissions through improved farming practices,” April 2020

2 The Soft Commodities Forum is a global platform for leading soft commodities companies, convened by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) for the purpose of advancing collective action to create a deforestation and conversion free soy supply chain.