Land, water, energy

Minimising land use, water and energy is an important theme for ForFarmers and its stakeholders. That is why we are committed to sourcing sustainably produced soy and palm oil.

Minimise land, water and energy use

The environmental burden associated with the production of feed materials is a very topical social issue. The theme is also very important to our stakeholders. Think of land use in relation to the cultivation of raw materials, especially soy and palm oil. ForFarmers makes extensive use of residual flows and is dedicated to the sourcing of sustainably produced raw materials, specifically soybean meal and palm oil.

Residual flows

ForFarmers makes extensive use of co-products, residual flows from, for example, the food industry which we then process into animal feed. Raw materials that are not suitable for human consumption are often suitable for animal feed. In this way, we are able, via livestock, to upgrade these raw materials to high-quality protein. And we can make maximum use of raw materials that are already being processed for human consumption. Many people are not yet familiar with the major role played by livestock farming in this upgrading of residual flows, which fits perfectly into ‘closed loop’ agriculture. For example, for cattle, 70% of their ration is not suitable for human consumption. 

Some of the residual flows we process come from the food industry. For example, whey from milk processing, biscuits, chocolate and bread that ends up as a by-product, or parts of grain that remain after the production of beer. By using raw materials in a circular manner, we contribute to reducing the CO2 footprint. 

In addition to using co-products from the food industry, we also process residual flows from the sugar processing and starch processing industry, arable farming, and also the energy industry (biofuel).

Residual flows

DML tank park

In addition to compound feeds, ForFarmers also supplies a range of dry, moist and liquid feeds (DML). The way in which we process for example co-products from milk processing in our DML tank park in Lochem into liquid feed for pigs is unique in the Netherlands. We are the only feed company that has an on-site installation where this type of co-products can be processed. By using raw materials in a circular manner, we contribute to the efficiency of livestock farming and to reducing the CO2 footprint in the food chain. 

Responsible Soy

As a member of the Roundtable on Responsible Soy (RTRS) and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), ForFarmers has helped to develop the European guidelines for soy production (FEFAC, 2015). Together with FEFAC, we use our network in the chain to work according to these guidelines. This allows us to facilitate the regular supply of sustainable soy products to Europe.


Sustainable procurement of all raw materials

ForFarmers strives - besides soy and palm oil - to purchase all its raw materials in accordance with recognised social, ethical and environmental standards. A structured dialogue with suppliers and the Supplier Code of Conduct from Sedex (Supplier Ethical Data Exchange) should help in this respect.

Alternative protein sources

ForFarmers is constantly exploring alternative sources of protein to reduce its dependence on soy. For example, we conduct research into the use of raw materials produced in the EU, such as sunflower and rapeseed meal. We are also investigating newer initiatives such as algae, duckweed and insects. 

Read more on the carbon footprint and reducing this footprint in the annual report.

Other focus areas

In addition to contributing to the minimalisation of land use, water and energy, ForFarmers has marked phosphate efficiency and greenhouse gases as an area of focus.