Mole Valley Farmers aims for carbon net zero by 2040

23rd December 2021 | Animal Feed, Company News, Environment, Rural Retailing

Farmer-owned feed manufacturer and rural retailer Mole Valley Farmers has developed an environmental roadmap to help the business and its farmer customers become carbon net zero by 2040.

The roadmap comprises a number of company targets. The co-operative intends to operate a 100% clean energy, zero carbon transport fleet by 2030. It will continue to invest in electric vehicles with no conventionally fuelled vehicles bought for its fleet from 2030. MVF also expects to move towards hydrogen-powered trucks in the next 5-10 years.

Secondly, the company will ensure that all its energy requirements are met from 100% renewable sources by 2025. It is already investing in renewables – for example the MVF Dorchester feed mill is powered with energy from an anaerobic digester; the retail store estate has moved to LED lighting; and electric vehicle (EV) chargers have been installed for customer use at several rural stores.

MVF will eliminate the use of non-recyclable packaging from its own label products, wherever possible, by 2030. It is already working to reduce single use plastics and introduce environmentally friendly materials across the business, while making it easier for customers to recycle packaging materials. It has also phased out plastic bags across its retail stores.

The business is committed to sourcing 100% of its feed materials from 100% sustainable and environmentally friendly sources by 2025. It is already a member of the Round Table on Responsible Soy Association (RTRS) and the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). Since October 2021, every tonne of soya or palm derivatives bought by MVF through the schemes carries credits to support responsibly grown crops by encouraging zero deforestation, good agricultural practice and responsible labour conditions in the countries where the materials originate.

These initiatives are in addition to work MVF is undertaking to help farmer customers understand and reduce the carbon footprint of ruminant diets. This includes an understanding of the carbon footprint of every feed ingredient delivered to company mills; a label declaration of the carbon footprint of all Mole Valley Feed Solutions conventional dairy compounds and blends; a customer choice of compound feeds made without soya or palm materials; use of the Precision Nutrition rationing programme to determine the nitrogen and methane impact of different diets; and the MVF Great British Feeds range using feed ingredients grown in Britain as the main component.

The company is also working to reduce the carbon footprint of its feed mills and helping customers focus on their soil health, fertilisers and forages to reduce carbon intensity.

“The environmental challenge facing the world is significant and complicated – no business or organisation can achieve transformational change alone,” says MVF chief executive Jack Cordery. “However, we take our role seriously in the agricultural and retail supply chains and recognise the active part we must play within them to achieve net zero.

“We’ve already started on a journey to help our farming customers meet their environmental commitments through our Climate Positive Agriculture initiative and we want to build on that.”

“British agriculture will play a vital and positive role in addressing climate change,” Mr Cordery continues. “Its efficient production systems, increased focus on sustainability and high animal welfare standards lead the world. We will build on these and be a driver for change, supporting our farmers and working with the industry to continue raising environmental standards and ultimately achieve net zero.”