COP26 announcements on deforestation welcome, but reduction already underway

By Angela Booth, Director of Responsibility

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  • COP26 announcements on deforestation welcome, but reduction already underway

We welcome the announcement from COP26 that more than 100 countries have agreed to end and reverse deforestation by 2030. However, it has been disappointing to see farmers highlighted in the media as significant contributors to deforestation. Discussions in the press about the use of soya in animal feed assume most of it is sourced from deforested areas. That’s simply not the case. 

In fact, significant progress has already been made by the agricultural industry in removing deforestation-linked soya and palm oil from supply chains. 

And here at AB Agri, we have committed to achieving a zero-deforestation supply chain for soya and palm oil across all our global locations by 2025. I’m pleased to say we’re well on track to meeting this goal.   

We believe there is an opportunity to work with the media to better promote all that has been done over the past 15 years to achieve deforestation-free supply chains.  

We will work to correct any mis-informed reporting, and strongly encourage peers to join us on this mission.    

Alternative protein sources  

As well as ensuring sustainable soya sources, we are also investing heavily in researching and developing alternative protein sources for animal feed to reduce our reliance on soya.  

NovaPro, our dairy feed produced from UK-grown rapeseed, has been awarded the UK’s Royal Dairy Innovation Award in recognition of its ability to support productivity while entirely removing the need for soya in dairy cow diets.  

We have also established Livalta to responsibly produce functional, protein-rich feed ingredients using the latest scientific and technological innovations. This includes exploring producing protein directly from industrial emissions with Pond Technologies on the world’s first scalable production of algae from carbon dioxide.   

Let’s hope the work, innovation and dedication our sector commits to sustainability and responsibility on a daily basis can also ‘hit the headlines’ in coming weeks and months.