I certainly do not like hearing "fluff" around sustainable poultry production, but when I see actual steps being taken in some beneficial way, it is truly recomforting. Sustainability is based on the principles of being efficient through nutrition, genetics, management and many other aspects. However, I think that shifting to alternative energy sources is one good step beyond.
In the last few days, Cargill - a top 10 poultry company in Latin America - has announced two solar energy projects in the region: one in Colombia and one in Honduras. The Colombian project, located in the west side of the country, is for a poultry processing facility, in conjunction with the renewable energy firm Celsia. The plant processes 180,000 birds a day and solar panels supply 100% of energy needs during solar times (at night they use regular electricity). Every megawatt produced in the Celsia facility for Cargill avoids releasing 640 metric tons of CO2 to the atmosphere or planting 106,136 trees.
On the other hand, the Cargill Honduran solar energy project has been installed in a hatchery in the northwest part of the country. This same hatchery has been awarded in February 2021 with the PBECC, a combined public-private environmental recognition of Honduras. It will provide 34% of their needs, which means a reduction of 417 metric tons of CO2 per year or 47.3 hectares of woodland.
This shows, in a way, the commitment of Cargill with alternative energy sources and sustainability in the region, as well as the intention to use solar or alternative energies wherever possible.
Evidently - I should also mention - there are other companies working on this. In the last two years we reported that in Honduras, as well, Alimentos CMI (another top 10 in Latin America) started a solar energy project, Grupo Campestre in El Salvador was building a biogas facility, and the Spanish company REA Solar installed solar panels in Panamanian poultry companies.
At the moment, these are news, but I hope we reach a time in which no longer this will hit the headlines, because they will be everywhere. On the same token, the poultry industry needs to capitalize on these news items. We are becoming more sustainable, step by step. Aren’t we?
What do you think?