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BPEX Environment Roadmap Launched

by 5m Editor
27 April 2011, at 10:43am

UK - The pig industry is setting out how it intends to achieve reductions in its environmental impact in a Roadmap just launched by BPEX and partners.

Important improvements have already been achieved over the last decade but more needs to be done.

BPEX Chairman Stewart Houston said: “The Roadmap is testament to our commitment to reduce the pig industry’s carbon footprint and details the targets we have set ourselves.

“Our industry targets go beyond the 11 per cent reduction set by Government for agriculture in England.

“More than that, though, this report demonstrates that for a number of years the industry has been improving efficiency, increasing productivity and sharpening competitiveness – and doing so in ways that enhance the sustainability of the sector.

“The industry has long been committed to environmental sustainability, achieving significant reductions ahead of broader Government policy initiatives.“

Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Jim Paice said: “The English pig industry has demonstrated ambition to meet the challenges it faces, once again showing their leadership and commitment to making our food and farming more sustainable. I look forward to seeing these ambitions turn into action as the industry makes progress towards this goal.“

The four environmental impact categories being targeted are:

  • Climate change potential: is an increase in temperature caused by the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The target is a 17 per cent reduction
  • Eutrophication potential: is the amount of nutrients such as nitrate and phosphate from manure or slurry that ends up in the aquatic environment. The target reduction is 15 per cent
  • Acidification potential: relates to the release of acidic gases such as ammonia, again from slurry or manure or sulphur dioxide from burning fossil fuels. These have the potential to form acid rain which, in turn, can damage ecosystems. The target is a 15 per cent cut
  • Abiotic resource depletion potential: estimates the use of scarce natural resources including fossil fuels. The target here is a reduction of 16 per cent achieved through even greater efficiencies.

BPEX Environment Programme Manager Nigel Penlington, who wrote the report, said: “The aim is to reduce all of these by between 15 per cent and 17 per cent. Since 2001 we have already seen reductions of between 7 per cent and 17 per cent.

“The roadmap not only outlines the targets for the industry but also takes a broad look at ways these targets can to be achieved. The fine detail will be posted on the BPEX website as it develops.

“Here the Two-tonne Sow Campaign will have a major role in helping achieve the targets at a very practical level.

“Lower mortality, improvements in piglets per sow per year, better feed conversion, for example, are all 2TS targets which, when achieved, will help hit the Roadmap target reductions.“