Pilgrim’s Pride invests US$12.28M in sustainability projects

UK – Pilgrim’s Pride, one of the UK’s leading food companies, has plans to invest more than £10 million (US$12.28M) into sustainability projects over the next 12 months.

The investment is aimed at helping the food producer support the roll-out of a series of process and operational developments, which in turn will fasten the achievement of its goal of becoming net zero by 2030.

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The projects include fully adopting LED lighting across all sites, and switching out equipment with more energy-efficient alternatives, such as replacing gas boilers with heat pumps and optimizing refrigeration systems.

The business already has solar and wind projects at a number of its bases and is now expanding these to the remainder of its manufacturing plants across the country.

Pilgrim estimates these additions and upgrades will reduce carbon emissions by 11,000 tonnes annually.

The company said its current footprint is half the industry average level of emissions in the United Kingdom for pork processors and pledged to significantly reduce its scope three emissions.

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The UK’s number one pig farmer and producer highlighted that it is committed to using fully verified, zero-deforestation sustainable soya by 2025.

Steps the company is taking to reach the goal of sourcing 100% sustainable soybeans by 2025 include conducting a series of trials to support the reformulation of its pigs’ diets and sourcing practical alternatives where possible.

“We want to accelerate our progress, working with the entire value chain, so that we can continue to go further and faster to becoming a net zero business and that means investing in vital sustainability projects like these to help us get there,” said Morten Knudsen, Pilgrim’s UK chief financial officer.

“The sector has grappled with significant challenges over the past few years, which we continue to help our farmer network and supply chain partners to navigate.”

Knudsen added that the company’s sustainability roadmap remains at the heart of its business since it is its responsibility to be trailblazers in this space and support global ambitions.

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The investment plan is in line with a number of new investments that the company has in the US.

These investments include an expansion of the Athens, Georgia facility, which will enhance our service levels and support growth for a Key Customer.

It also includes funding for operational excellence improvements via automation throughout our US footprint and the construction of a protein conversion plant for pet food ingredients in Georgia.

Also, a commitment to the development of a Prepared Foods facility in the Southeast USA to cultivate its branded growth and further diversify its portfolio.

Taken together, Pilgrim said these investments will simultaneously enable sufficient capacity for top-line growth with its key customers, enhance operating margins, and create value for its shareholders.

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