Food Companies Taking a More Active Role in Ag Sustainability
When Joan Salwen and her team at Blue Ocean Barns were ready to start selling their seaweed-based feed amendment that lowers cattle emissions, they found that the best customers were actually not the farmers themselves.
Salwen… “Up the supply chain there were potential buyers who had a lot more power over pricing, over branding, over storytelling about their products than a farmer ever will. And those people also were getting a lot of pressure from their stakeholders, from their activist board members, from their federal governments to really take seriously, the climate impact of their manufacturing processes.”
Salwen said the only way for these companies to follow through with their commitments is to reduce the emissions from the cows themselves.
Salwen… “Many of them made impossible goals for greenhouse gas reductions in their supply chains by 2025 or 2030, without realizing that they could put solar on as many of their factories as they wanted to. They could completely overhaul their entire vehicle fleet to be low emission vehicles, and still if the cow is standing out there in the barn or in the pasture burping her methane gas out, they were never, ever gonna achieve their goal.”
Blue Ocean Barns works with these companies to run pilot programs with influential farmers, and then expand the offering to more producers from there.