Environmental work at farms
A meat product’s overall environmental impact traces back, for the most part, to farm level. We at HKScan have therefore started evaluating how we as a purchaser can contribute to the sustainability of animal primary production. Our commitment to responsible soy is a good example. During 2016 HKScan highlighted environmental issues and best practices in its communications with its contract producers, for instance in producer magazines and newsletters. An environmental prize for primary producers was launched in Sweden at the end of 2016 to encourage producers to share their environmental success stories.
HKScan’s advisory services for producers focused on feed efficiency and optimal use of feed resources at farm level, with the goal of reducing environmental impacts. We have recently improved the efficiency of our liquid by-product transports by interlinking transports, which has reduced truck transport distances by 140 000 km per year (which equals 3.5 times the globe’s circumference).
Agriculture and animal production have a major impact on biodiversity, the extent varying between different regions and agricultural practices.
Grazing cattle and sheep play a key role in the ecosystems of the semi-natural pastures that we have in Sweden and Finland, which are rich in biodiversity. Cattle and sheep have contributed to shaping our open landscapes for hundreds of years. Approximately 40 different plant and insect species can be found on one square meter of semi-natural pasture. Most of the pastures in Sweden and Finland are not semi-natural, however: these lower-biodiversity or cultivated pastures nevertheless contribute to carbon sequestration.
To save biodiversity and mitigate adverse environmental and social impacts, HKScan is committed to using responsible produced soy throughout its production chain, in animal feed and food products by year 2018.
The guiding principles of organic production include the sustainable usage of natural resources such as energy, land and water, as well as biodiversity and high standards of animal welfare. Organic production is driven by consumer demand, and this is the strongest driver for increasing volumes of organic products throughout the value chain.
In Sweden, demand for organic products has witnessed extraordinary growth in recent years. We at HKScan are constantly working to evolve with market demand. HKScan purchases a considerable amount of organic meat in Sweden. We anticipate that interest in organic pork will increase slightly in coming years.
HKScan has significantly increased sales of EU organic poultry in Denmark during 2016. Consumers especially appreciate the animal welfare criteria fulfilled by organic poultry, including factors such as larger space and outdoor access.