A 26% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per animal in the last 20 years; advanced treatment of 80% of slurry; 24 projects that use biogas instead of fossil fuels; and more than 2 million USD invested in 70 community outreach initiatives: these are just some of the achievements highlighted by ChileCarne when evaluating the industry’s environmental, social, and corporate governance performance.

During CFIAgrotech 2023, held in late October, the Chilean poultry and pork industry assessed its progress in sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Juan Carlos Domínguez, President of ChileCarne, talked about ESG performance in pork and poultry production highlighting the industry’s progress and challenges.

The presentation focused on the need to adapt production to environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) criteria, especially when considering the global meat deficit expected by 2030. According to Domínguez, meat demand could exceed production by 50%, posing a significant challenge for the global industry and a similarly challenging goal for Chile, which has seen an increase in pork and poultry production and exports over the last few years.

In 2022, the white meat industry cemented its position as the fourth largest food exporting sector in Chile, representing 86% of meat production and 88% of meat exports. In this scenario, ChileCarne’s President underscored the need to increase production sustainably, which means using natural resources more efficiently, reducing CO2 emissions, improving its relationship with local communities, protecting animal welfare, and using antibiotics prudently, all while preserving the industry’s profitability.

When it comes to ESG criteria, Chile’s meat industry has made considerable progress. There has been a remarkable 26% reduction in GHG emissions for each pig produced in the last two decades.

Similarly, 80% of the slurry goes through secondary systems, which helps mitigate negative environmental impacts. There are also biofuel-related projects, like the production of biogas for electricity, heat, and steam, with 19 biogas reactors installed and 24 projects to replace fossil fuels, in line with the goal of reducing the carbon footprint.

Further demonstrating the industry’s environmental commitment, 100% of slurry and manure is recovered for agriculture, benefiting more than 3,500 farmers and promoting sustainable agricultural practices.

In the social sphere, more than 70 community outreach initiatives for more than 2.1 million USD have been implemented, showcasing the industry’s commitment to local communities, promoting a socially responsible approach. Healthy living, community development, education, and entrepreneurship are important topics for the Chilean white meat industry.

Last but not least, talking about governance, Domínguez highlighted the need to update regulations to keep up with the markets’ changing requirements and technological advancements. He made a straightforward call for producers, the industry, government, and academia to work together to tackle current and future challenges.

“Our industry’s biggest challenge has to do with regulations and the need for the public sector to work closely with companies and academia. We must address the increasing demand for sustainability as a national priority; training and supporting SMEs, so that we all can move together towards a more sustainable future in pork and poultry production in Chile,” he concluded.