Sustainability

Supporting hard-working New Zealand farmers to lead the world in nature positive production.    


Good By Nature

At Silver Fern Farms, we are embedding sustainability into all we do. Our commitment, and follow-through, on our material issues are a key way we are delivering on our purpose and making sure we do the right thing by our customers who increasingly want to know that their red meat is sustainably produced.

This demands not merely doing less harm, but doing greater good by ultimately enhancing the ecosystems, communities and places we operate in. Our Sustainability Action Plan - Good by Nature is designed to support and accelerate Silver Fern Farms’ transformation to the world’s most trusted, nature positive producer and deliver on our purpose of creating goodness from the farms the world needs.

Reflecting our action-orientated approach, we have committed to a range of bold initiatives to drive our vision, respond to consumer and market trends, and position Silver Fern Farms as a leader in sustainable food production in a rapidly changing world.

Our Sustainability Action Plan

The Sustainability Action Plan is focused on the issues that matter most to our stakeholders (identified via our materiality process) and covers every aspect of our business from on-farm where the animals are raised to when a customer disposes of packaging. Our eight unique material issues ensure we are focused on the areas where we can make the most difference and are aligned to the global framework for sustainable development, the Sustainable Development Goals.


Sustainability at Silver Fern Farms

Watch our Chief Sustainability & Risk Officer, Kate Beddoe overview the plan and share what sustainability means at Silver Fern Farms.

We are committed to supporting a holistic approach to farming focused on outcomes measurement and continuous improvement rather than inputs. At Silver Fern Farms we are underpinning our approach to nature positive in four key areas, which align with the New Zealand Farm Assurance Programme Plus (NZFAP+) standard and will help us continue to meet consumer expectations for premium quality, sustainably grown red meat. These are:

 

  • Climate & Emissions
  • Biodiversity
  • Soil Health 
  • Water Quality
  • Animal Welfare

Under our Sustainability Action Plan commitments, we will have zero coal usage by 2030 and we will halve our emissions from coal over the next two years.

We have committed to a 1.5-degree science-aligned reduction target to reduce our combined Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 42% by 2030 (from a 2020 base year).

In 2023 we will be setting a full Scope 3 emissions target inclusive of livestock emissions. We think this will be a game-changer.

This is a world-leading programme that incentivizes our farmers to invest in and maintain on-farm carbon sequestration including native and riparian planting.

Over the past two years, Silver Fern Farms has been proactively working with a group of 17 farmer suppliers from across the country, to better understand their own carbon footprint and the opportunities to optimise carbon stored on their farms.

Building on the information we have found in our pilot, Silver Fern Farms launched our first range of Toitū Net Carbon Zero Certified Beef in the United States in early 2022 – this is now a world-leading programme that incentivises our farmers to invest in and maintain on-farm carbon sequestration including native and riparian planting. Currently we are working on scaling this range for launch into other markets, including New Zealand, in 2023.

We know that effective collaboration and learning from others is essential in working towards a more sustainable future. Silver Fern Farms is proud to be a:

  • Foundation members of the Climate Leaders Coalition
  • Leading partner of the Aotearoa Circle
  • Founding signatory to the Kai Commitment on food waste
  • Founding partner in the AgriZero NZ methane reduction joint venture
  • Member of the Sustainable Business Council
  • Founding participant of the New Zealand Roundtable for Sustainable Beef 
  • Founding Corporate Member of The Prince of Wales's Business & Sustainability Programme in Australia - Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

Food for Thought

On the East Coast of the North Island of Aotearoa New Zealand, lies Whāngārā, a small community north of Gisborne. A place where rolling green hills look across the ocean, where the sun first rises, and being kaitiaki (guardians) of the land is a top priority.

Whāngārā Farms is the focus of ‘Guardians’, a film included in the Food for Thought series presented by FoodDrinkEurope and produced by BBC StoryWorks Commercial Productions.

Whāngārā Farms are a gold standard example of the farmers the world needs, and Silver Fern Farms is proud to celebrate their success on the global stage.




Toitū Certification

Since we started our carbon reporting journey in 2018, we have successfully implemented and achieved the Toitū carbonreduce organisation certification across our Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions. In December 2022, we won the Top Reducer category at the Toitū Brighter Future Awards for the 2nd year running and were a finalist in the Climate Action and Exceptional Achievement in Environmental Management categories. 

After developing an Environmental Management System over two years, in August 2021, we achieved Toitū enviromark diamond certification, the highest New Zealand-based environmental certification, which we continue to retain.