McCain Foods has announced its sustainability strategy that centres on a global commitment to reduce CO2 emissions by 50 per cent and move from coal to renewable electricity by 2030, according to ABC Rural.
McCain Foods agriculture director Australia and New Zealand Rod McLaren said he was excited the company was going green.
“The spotlight has been put squarely on the challenges being posed by climate change and our fragile global food systems,” he said.
The company has 49 production plants globally, but McLaren said Australia’s Ballarat plant was setting the agenda with a behind-the-meter solar farm in operation, which will be the largest in the country once complete.
“We’re also building a biodigester. One of our targets is to be utilising 100 per cent of potato by-products by 2025,” he said.
Biodigestion is the process of creating an energy-rich gas by placing organic materials, such as potato peels, into an airtight container to breakdown.
“Australia and New Zealand are going to lead the way with that. We’re 100 per cent potato utilisation already,” McLaren said.
“We divert most of our by-product to cattle feed but we will use some of that better by running it through a biodigester to create energy.”
Another environmental goal in McCain Foods sustainability report is to implement regenerative agricultural practices across 100 per cent of suppliers’ farms by 2030. This includes practices such as protecting soils, enhancing crop and ecosystem diversity, reducing chemicals, and optimising water use.
“Here in Australia and New Zealand, the farming practices are world-leading,” Mr McLaren said.
“I’m pretty proud to say that most of our growers, if not all of them, are doing at least 90 per cent of that, which is really good.”