One of the pillars of the Chile Conscious Origin Program —to which ChileCarne’s member companies belong— is circular economy, one of the key standards assessed to obtain the program’s certification.

The sustainability protocol of Chile Conscious Origin (ChOC) promotes circular economy via reuse and proper waste management. This is why all companies that sign up to the program to obtain the ChOC certification —particularly in the white meat industry— have clear responsibilities: separate their production process waste from household waste, wash pesticide packaging three times before their recovery at authorized collection centers, and implement effective reduce, reuse, and recycle strategies at the farms.

The numbers speak for themselves: in the pig sector, 96% of organic waste is used for animal feed and 8% of inorganic waste is being recovered, a figure that is growing because of the goals set for 2024. In turn, 100% of hazardous waste is disposed at authorized facilities. “ChOC’s vision goes beyond recycling. We are aware that waste can be repurposed, becoming a valuable input for the industry,” says Daniela Álvarez, ChileCarne’s Sustainability Manager.

But innovation does not end there. About 66% of wastewater is treated to be used in fertigation, and 33% is used as soil improvers. Thus, the use of organic fertilizers such as slurry, biostabilized products, and manure helps recover and use animal by-products, while improving the use of resources.

As of 2021, Chile has a long-term circular economy roadmap that sets the vision for a regenerative, fair, and participatory circular economy. The roadmap includes goals for 2040, such as creating 180,000 green jobs, increasing the general recycling rate to 75%, and reducing per capita solid waste by 25%.

The Chilean pork and poultry industries have been following this approach for years. One key example is fertigation, a technique that uses a mix of pig slurry and digestate and irrigation water as fertilizer. Additionally, dry materials such as biostabilized products and solid manure are used as fertilizer to enrich the soil and the crops. This strategy is not only sustainable, but it also infuses the soil with essential nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and organic matter) improving its properties and structure.

“Our members that joined ChOC are not only doing business, but also transforming the industry and taking care of our planet. We are proud to be part of this sustainable revolution,” explained Álvarez.

ChOC is an initiative led by the Office of Agricultural Research and Policy (ODEPA) from the Ministry of Agriculture to promote best practices in the agri-food sector.

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