As a global leader in aquaculture feed and animal nutrition, Cargill supports the production of seafood the world needs while minimizing its impact on the planet. And now is looking to do even more for sustainable aquaculture by focusing on farmers and working across the value chain to help the seafood industry reduce its global carbon footprint through the implementation of the SeaFurtherTM Sustainability initiative.
In 1865, William Wallace Cargill becomes the owner of a grain warehouse in Conover, Iowa, at the end of the McGregor & Western Railroad line, and in 1870 establishes his headquarters in Albert Lea, Minnesota.
To date, Cargill serves customers and communities in 70 countries/regions with more than 155,000 employees, providing the world with the food, agricultural, financial, and industrial products people around the world need in a safe, responsible and sustainable manner.
“The company’s global operations are divided into five main categories: Food Ingredients & Organic Industry, Animal Nutrition, Protein & Salt, Agricultural Supply Chain, and Metals & Shipping.”
Cargill’s goal is to help salmon farmers embark on a path to net-zero emissions. The program aims to reduce their carbon footprint by 30 percent by 2030. However, commitments to sustainable aquaculture require a systematic approach.
The company is measuring progress through carbon footprint reduction and cumulative carbon savings by using data from across its supply chain to its customers to track greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per kilogram of its customers’ harvested fish from 2017 to 2030 and manage the role of its feedin that reduction.
To achieve this goal, Cargill has set priorities that address the multiple environmental, social, and economic impacts of its business. Cargill recognizes that no company can solve these challenges alone. Therefore, it connects and collaborates with its suppliers, farming customers, and global communities to achieve a common goal.
Demand for seafood is rising. Emerging research, such as the 2021 Blue Food Assessment, shows how important aquaculture is to human nutrition – but aquaculture production must grow sustainably.
Based on this, Cargill underscores the need to meet the challenge of sustainable aquaculture by producing seafood in a way that protects the planet while feeding a growing human population.
When feed is used in aquaculture, it is often responsible for 80% – even up to 90% – of the total carbon footprint of the harvested fish. The raw materials that make up the feed carry most of that burden, and the efficiency of feed use on the farm is an important factor in the overall footprint of the fish.
With this knowledge, Cargill can target its efforts.
Cargill, together with its suppliers, farming customers, and global communities, is charting a bold new course – making aquaculture better for the planet and ensuring sustainable seafood is available to all.
This includes the launch of a new global initiative called SeaFurther™ Sustainability, which aims to bring about real change across the seas.
How Cargill plans to reach the goal
Cargill is launching the SeaFurther™ Sustainability initiative to help farmers reduce their carbon footprint by at least 30 percent by 2030. By doing this at scale and across many customers, it will help the industry save 2 billion kilograms of carbon emissions which is equivalent to the emissions of more than 400,000 cars in one year.
Credibility and innovation are key factors that Cargill uses to underpin every it does. The company’s first target is to reduce GHG by 15 percent by 2026.
Key areas for achieving the goal
Cargill is focusing on the three key areas described below to achieve this ambitious goal by developing the best solutions for individual customers according to their unique needs.
Transforming raw materials
Cargill’s feeds are designed to help ensure that the environmental footprint of aquaculture is as small as possible.
To do this, the company works closely with its suppliers to grow environmentally friendly ingredients and find ways to reuse byproducts, such as fish trimmings, that would normally be discarded, whenever possible.
Together, Cargill and its suppliers strive to identify and source new ingredients that will lead to even more sustainable feeds and help its customers and partners achieve shared sustainability goals.
“Feed ingredients are a key part of the overall aquaculture footprint.”
Switching raw materials from one source to another with a smaller footprint can provide an immediate solution. However, Cargill believes it is best to work with its suppliers to find ways to reduce their emissions.
This is done directly by collaborating on solutions to reduce emissions from crop production by adopting regenerative farming practices, optimizing processing, and streamlining logistics.
To achieve a sustainable aquaculture industry, Cargill is also working with novel ingredients and continues to increase its use of by-products to take a circular economy approach to aquaculture feeds.
In doing so, Cargill is building on its leading experience in the use of fish trimmings and other by-products wherever possible to move closer to the goal of overall carbon emissions reduction.
Optimization of production
Intending to put fish nutrition first, Cargill is harnessing the power of nature and science to do more with less environmental impact.
The company is focused on ways to increase the efficiency of fish production, getting the most out of production while using fewer resources and reducing its impact on the ocean and climate.
Through SeaFurtherTM, the company will work with its customers to identify the GHG hotspots in their production – from raw materials and feeds to fish production. It can then work with customers to identify actions that can strategically reduce emissions.
Cargill will optimize the GHG footprint of the feeds it offers. The formulation will allow the company to mix its ingredients differently to deliver the same great superior nutrition value, but with a lower total footprint. This will build on the capabilities of the changed supply chain.
“Cargill is also optimizing the nutrition provided to its customers by working to reduce the amount of feed needed for farmed fish – the feed conversion ratio.”
Collaborating with its customers, it will provide the nutrients needed and work with the farmers to feed fish optimally for efficient growth. Reducing the feed used for fish farming is a strong driver for more sustainable aquaculture that uses fewer resources and results in fewer losses and emissions.
Safeguarding animal health
Healthy farmed fish play a powerful role in the health of communities – and the environment. That’s why fish welfare is at the top of Cargill’s agenda.
It takes time and cares to develop fish nutrition that promotes and improves the health and welfare of farmed fish. It is committed to working with its customers to ensure that the fish in its care are held to the highest standards.
By providing optimal nutrition to the fish Cargill feeds, they stay healthier. When the focus is on health and well-being through nutrition, the fish are less likely to get sick. Healthy fish grow more efficiently, so more fish can be raised with fewer resources – with fewer greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Targeting improvements at every step of the value chain
Collaboration is at the heart of the SeaFurtherTM initiative, and the carbon footprint of farmed salmon explains why. Cargill expounds, “Optimizing each link in the value chain will only take us so far. Exploring GHG emissions reduction initiatives – together – will enable us to meet the rising demand for seafood sustainably”.
Neil Manchester, Managing Director of the Kames Fish Farming Ltd said, “We recognize our role as providing a solution to the ocean’s recovery whilst feeding the increasing population and understand the responsibility that farming in the sea entails. We are proud to lead the way for reducing emissions from the trout industry through this partnership with Cargill. However, carbon efficiency resulting in reduced emissions will only be fully achieved if we work together across the whole supply chain, so it’s fantastic that this initiative and open communication is happening rapidly and at scale”.
Pablo Baraona, Director of Salmones Aysén said, “Salmones Aysén is a family-owned and operated company that have been in the path of becoming carbon neutral company with a carbon neutral produce for a few years now. Adopting different politics on how to farm and process our salmon, we are changing our culture and growing into this new way of farming to achieve, not only a zero emission but a sustainable and fair way of producing salmons. Our commitment comes from the very heart of the company, because is a conviction that the owners of the company have themselves, not only in this company, but in life. Therefore, we have decided to commit with the SeaFurtherTM program along with Cargill to move forward with this objective that we are convinced we are going to achieve in the coming years”.
There is a need to ensure that the aquaculture sector continues to grow and make an ever-increasing contribution to the world’s food supplies in a socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable manner, consistent with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Cargill is charting a bold new course to make aquaculture better for the planet with the SeaFurtherTM Sustainability initiative.
The focus is on three key areas: transforming raw materials, optimizing production and safeguarding animal health, and also targeting improvements at every step of the value chain with the active collaboration of farmers to help the seafood industry reduce its global carbon footprint.
In specific, its goal is to help salmon farmers chart a path to net-zero emissions, with a program aiming to reduce their carbon footprint by 30 percent by 2030.
This informative version of the original article is sponsored by Cargill
This is a summarized version developed by the editorial team of Aquaculture Magazine based on the review article titled “SEAFURTHERTM SUSTAINABILITY. CARGILL’S SUSTAINABLE AQUACULTURE INITIATIVE TO REDUCE THE CARBON FOOTPRINT OF OUR CUSTOMERS’ FARMED SEAFOOD BY 30% BY 2030” developed by CARGILL.
The original article was published on Cargill’s web page, in 2022.
The full version can be accessed freely online through this link: https://www.cargill.com/sustainability/supply-chains/seafurther-sustainability-aquaculture