Smithfield Foods, Inc. and United Suppliers, Inc., have collaborated to advance on-farm conservation practices and to use innovative precision agriculture tools across Smithfield’s sourcing regions in Iowa and Missouri. The goal is to work with farmers along all points of the food supply chain reducing fertilizer runoff, safeguarding the environment and ensuring farm productivity.
“At Smithfield, we are committed to sustainability, and to finding solutions where we can both make the environment better and improve our bottom line,” said Kraig Westerbeek, vice president of environment and support operations at Smithfield Foods’ Hog Production Division. “Farmers spend up to half of their input costs on fertilizer, so keeping more nutrients where they belong helps growers save money and improve yields. We’re excited to offer the SUSTAIN platform to our Midwest growers because it’s a true win-win.”
United Suppliers developed the SUSTAIN platform, in coordination with Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), which combines a set of proven, effective technologies, practices and products that improve nutrient use efficiency and reduce soil erosion while enhancing productivity.
Matt Carstens, vice president of United Suppliers, said “This is a great example of how food companies, ag retailers, and growers can work together to achieve success in the realm of ag sustainability that ultimately meets the demands of the consumer.”
This collaboration will:
•Optimize nutrient use efficiency and improve soil health in Smithfield’s Midwest sourcing regions.
•Expand the reach of the SUSTAIN platform in the Smithfield sourcing region to help United Suppliers meet its goal of 10 million acres enrolled in SUSTAIN by 2020.
•Protect yields while reducing nutrient and soil loss, thereby achieving greenhouse gas emissions reductions and water quality improvements.
•Improve the resiliency of the U.S. food production system.