WARWICK, ENGLAND – Pilgrim’s UK, a unit of Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., is reducing the use of soybeans where possible and ensuring soybeans the company uses to feed pigs are sourced sustainably without harming the environment. The initiative is part of the company’s Pilgrim’s UK 2030 sustainability plan.

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, Pilgrim’s UK said. The company is working closely with supply chain partners, additional trials are planned for later this year.

“In recent years we have been working hard to ensure that all of our pig feed is made in the most sustainable way possible, and that our entire supply chain is coordinated and committed to using sustainable soya across their operations, helping to consolidate a sector-wide approach,” said Matt Dight, head of sustainability at Pilgrim’s UK. “We are extremely proud to have taken a leading role in developing discussions and initiatives in this space, as well as trialing more innovative alternative proteins in our pigs’ diets.

“We know that methods of soya farming can have a harmful impact on the environment, and the meat industry has a responsibility to remove soya produced in this way from its supply chains,” Dight added. “Through our Pilgrim’s UK 2030 sustainability plan we are leading the way in this area, with clear targets and ambitions to drive change within the next decade.”

Pilgrim’s UK currently has the lowest soybean usage in pig diets in Europe, according to the company. This has been validated for the last two consecutive years. Pilgrim’s UK accounts for 99% of all the responsibly sourced soybeans supplied in Europe since 2019. In 2020, Pilgrim’s UK remained in the top 10 purchasers of credit for Round Table on Responsible Soy Association (RTRS) soya globally.

Also, Pilgrim’s UK now uses EU and UK grown alternative proteins across all of its diet formulations as part of extensive R&D programs. The company is a member of the UK Round Table for Sustainable Soya and sits on both the RTRS steering group and the RTRS working group for physical supply chains, as well as being signatories of the Cerrado Manifesto Statement, supporters of the Amazon Soy Moratorium and founding partners of the Soy Transparency Coalition. The company also is working closely with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and advisory groups to educate and inform policy makers across the globe.