Marfrig reveals progress on sustainability

By Chloe Ryan

- Last updated on GMT

Marfrig reveals progress on sustainability

Related tags Moy park Beef Pork

A pledge to end slave labour in the supply chain and increased use of biomass energy production are among the areas covered in Marfrig Global Foods’ 2014 annual sustainability report. 

The Brazil-based processor, which comprises three business units – Marfrig Beef, Moy Park and Keystone Foods – has an annual processing capacity of over 5 million head of cattle, 400m chickens, 6m turkeys and 3m lambs. It is the third-largest beef processor globally.

The company has continued to make progress in recruiting new farmer members to its Marfrig Club, the report, published on 14 July, states.

Since forming the club seven years ago, 3,524 farms have been certified, which have met criteria related to areas including animal welfare, social responsibility (labour standards, housing, education and incentives) and environmental responsibility (vegetation, waste, soil and water).

It has also avoided appearing on the list of banned areas published by the environmental agency Ibama and on the list of companies engaged in slave labour practices, published by the Ministry of Labour.

Satellite monitoring

In the Amazon region, Marfrig uses a satellite control system to monitor the properties of its suppliers and prevent new areas of deforestation, labour practices analogous to slavery and destructive social or environmental practices.

“Every day it evaluates nearly 8,000 rural properties on more than 25m hectares,” the report stated.

Biomass priority for the UK

In its UK business, Moy Park, biomass technology is being prioritised as an alternative source of energy for its heating systems throughout its farm base, said the report.

“The company already has 105 biomass boilers that power 280 heating systems at poultry houses in Northern Ireland and England. The company hopes to install 86 more systems during 2015.”

At its Keystone business last year, the company launched an awards scheme called Keystar, to recognise CSR achievements in its supply chain.

The four award categories were Sustaining the Planet, Contributions to Communities, Support for People and Value Creation.

The company has also made a number of public commitments in partnership with organisations including Greenpeace, the Rainforest Alliance and the Nature Conservancy.

Revenue across the business grew in double digits in each of the three units in 2014, according to the report. Overall revenue grew 12.4% in 2014 to R$21bn.

At Moy Park, sales were up 17%, driven by strong sales volume growth in fresh poultry and convenience coated products in the UK, and a favourable exchange rate.

Sales grew 11.7% at Marfrig Beef, driven by higher exports from Brazil and improvements in domestic foodservice sales.

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