Sustainability was the topic of discussion for ag industry leaders at Farm Foundation forum

Some of the ag industry’s top leaders say that they are working to support sustainability efforts. It was the topic of discussion during a Farm Foundation forum.

The John Deere Company is working to improve sustainability on the farm by advancing precision ag technologies.

According to Sarah Dean, John Deere’s Public Policy Manager, “We see automation, machine learning intelligence, and other precision technologies as ways that are really increasing the role that agriculture is playing in being more competitive in global markets for growers, no matter where they’re sending their products but also, more sustainable at the same time.”

Dean says that connectivity will be critical to allow technology to do its job on the farm: “Getting connectivity to the field because having connectivity enables the machine-machine transmission and applications of a lot of these new precision type technologies that are enabling greater precision and greater sustainability.”

In the processing sector, Maple Leaf Foods is working to reduce, replace, and offset emissions in plants.

“We have avoided building new processing plants in areas that have little to no access to renewable energy sources, we continue to improve efficiency in our plants, in our animal feed and crop production, and reduce distribution trip lengths for products, we switch from carbon-intensive to low carbon sources,” the VP of Global Government, Nadia Theodore states.

When it comes to global trade, Theodore says that it is critical to have a predictable rules-based system for sustainability.

“We believe that a rules-based international system that really takes into account and has conversations around climate change is important and that to the extent that issues like carbon border, adjustment taxes are going to be used for exports...not for within countries, we really do need to have conservations amongst our countries in order to get that right,” she adds.

She says that Maple Leaf is also getting consumers involved with sustainability by including carbon information on packaging and encouraging recycling.


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