Silver Ferm Farms beefs up green goals with net zero carbon red meat

Its ‘Net Carbon Zero By Nature’ Angus beef supports the company’s efforts to become climate-positive and regenerative by 2030

Big Zero Report 2023

New Zealand’s Silver Fern Farms has announced it is selling net zero carbon Angus beef to consumers as part of its efforts to become greener.

The company’s ‘Net Carbon Zero By Nature’ products, including Angus steaks and ground beef, supports its goal to become climate-positive and regenerative by 2030.

It previously set a target to reduce processing emissions by 42% by 2030, from a 2020 base year.

Silver Fern Farms is New Zealand’s largest red meat producer which exports to 60 countries and has been supplying the US market with its grass-fed product for four decades.

The company uses what it calls an “insetting” approach, which means the carbon credits needed to offset the emissions of the product are found by working with farmers to optimise the role the farms can play in acting as carbon sinks, rather than relying on buying carbon credits from other projects.

In 2018, Silver Fern Farms started a programme to map and measure the sequestration potential from the many types of vegetation, including woodlot forests, shelter belts and native bush, present on New Zealand farms.

CEO Simon Limmer said: “Taking care of our emissions is our own responsibility, no-one else’s. We are not outsourcing our emissions, rather we are recognising and incentivising our farmers for their efforts to create farm environments that are better able to capture carbon, increase biodiversity and support nature positive food production.

“The commitment by our farmers to whole-of-farm accountability is real, it runs deep. In the last couple of years many farmers have been tracking and managing emissions on their farms and in October over 1000 Silver Fern Farm farmers attended workshops in every part of New Zealand to calculate their emissions and move towards having emissions management plans.

“Through our Net Carbon Zero programme we are connecting our hardworking farmers with customers who want to support them to plant, restore and regenerate vegetation to increase the amount of carbon their farms can naturally remove from the atmosphere. That’s pretty exciting.”

Consumers can buy Silver Fern Farm’s Net Carbon Zero By Nature-branded Angus Rib-Eye and New York Strip steaks, ground beef and other cuts, approved by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), in supermarkets in New York and Los Angeles.

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