The world’s largest agricultural commodities trader has set a path to cut emissions from salmon farming.
Cargill Inc., a top provider of feed to the seafood industry, will work with customers to reduce the footprint of farmed salmon by 30% by 2030, the company said in a statement. A large part of the effort will target feed, which accounts for as much as 90% of salmon’s environmental impact.
Global fish consumption is surging faster than that of beef, chicken, or pork, driven by an expanding and increasingly prosperous global population that recognizes the health benefits of eating seafood. Demand in the $400 billion fish market is so big that it’s attracting companies like Cargill, which is targeting deals to get into the fish production and processing business.
“Seafood consumption is rising globally,” said Pilar Cruz, president and group leader in Cargill’s aqua nutrition business. “We want to meet that demand; increasing production while decreasing environmental impact.”
Cargill plans to reduce emissions from feed by cutting the footprint of its supply chain and from its own operations, as well as changing the formula of its products to ensure recipes have the same nutritional value, but lower environmental impact, according to a company spokesman. The program, which starts with salmon, will expand to other seafood products including shrimp.
Consumers are becoming increasingly interested in where their food comes from and whether it was grown in a sustainable way. That’s prompted Minneapolis-based Cargill to set out an overall target to cut its footprint by 30% per ton of food by 2030, including the so-called scope 3 emissions.
More than half of the catch consumed these days is farmed, with aquaculture producing lower greenhouse emissions for the equivalent nutrition than most agricultural food systems, according to the United Nations. In 2013, seafood farming accounted for just 0.45% of human-generated emissions. That figure excludes post-farm activities.
The 30% reduction will be calculated by comparing national industry average performance in 2017 to the actual performance of the customers each year from the time they join the program, according to the spokesman. Transport will also be key to reducing emissions, as logistics typically account for about 10% of feed’s footprint.
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