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Protecting the land protects our animals, our farmers, and our future.

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Our Commitments

At Silver Fern Farms, we embed sustainability into all we do. Our commitment, and follow-through, on sustainability issues is a key way we’re 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 eco-systems we operate in. 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.

We’re not waiting for the future; we’re doing our best to shape it. Our efforts are guided by our Sustainability Action Plan which levels-up our work to date and sets out an ambitious programme of measurable targets against 1 year, 3 year and 2030 timeframes.

Water reduction

2020: 7.7% reduction in water used per kilo of product produced

Since 2016: A 30% reduction in water used per kilo of product produced

Waste reduction

2020: Over 100 tonnes of plastic waste remover permanently from our supply chain

Energy savings

2020: 1.1% reduction in energy use per kilo of product produced

Since 2016: 9.2% reduction in energy use per kilo of product produced

Carbon reduction

2020: 30% gross reduction (scope 1 & 2) on 2005 level achieved

20% reduction in processing emissions since 2018 

In 2020 our reductions amounted to 14500 tons of CO2e 


Through our Ora Health & Safety Program and Wellbeing Hub we have made a significant capital investment into Health & Safety projects.

With a strengthened focus on wellbeing, we have supported our suppliers with Mental Health services including Good Yarns programmes.


Established the Fern Fund to assist staff when they encounter hardship.

We are a foundation partner for Meat the Need and provided over $500,000 in community sponsorships in FY 2020.

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 on eight principles, which align with the NZFAP+ and will help us continue to meet consumer expectations for premium quality, sustainably grown red meat. These are:


  • Minimise soil disturbance

  • Optimise biodiversity

  • Manage livestock grazing practices

  • Protect and regenerate soil health

  • Optimise animal welfare

  • Nurture our farming communities

  • Protect and enhance our natural environment 

  • Reduce carbon footprint


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 will be launching our first range of Toitū Net Carbon Zero Certified Beef in the United States in early 2022 – a world-leading programme that incentivises our farmers to invest in and maintain on-farm carbon sequestration including native and riparian planting.

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.

Our Sustainability Action Plan

The Sustainability Action Plan is focused on the issues that matter most to our stakeholders (identified via our materiality process). Under the Sustainability Action Plan, we have some key initiatives in-flight and have some strong results that we can build upon.

Toitū Certification

Since we started our carbon reporting journey in 2018, we have successfully implemented the Toitū carbon reduce certification for our processing operations.

After developing an Environmental Management System over two years, in August 2021, we achieved Toitū Environmark diamond certification, the highest New Zealand-based environmental certification. In December 2021, we won the Top Reducer and +50k (CO2e emissions) category at the Toitū Bright Future Awards.

Toitu 2021 Awards Winner logo

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