Sustainable agriculture

A sustainable agricultural supply chain is crucial to our business as we rely on agriculture for our biobased raw materials.

Our vision

A sustainable agricultural supply chain is crucial to our business as we rely on agriculture for our biobased raw materials.

It is also vital to the communities in which we operate and to our planet's resources. We recognize that intensive agriculture can have negative consequences for people and the environment. The agricultural sector is the second-largest source of GHG emissions globally and farming of sugarcane and oil palm has been linked to issues such as forced and child labor.

While Corbion is not directly involved with the growing, harvesting, and processing of the crops used to make our raw materials, we have partnered with our direct suppliers, conservation solution providers and engage with other stakeholders involved in our agricultural supply chains to promote our vision for sustainable agriculture.

 

Our policies and certifications

Our sustainable agriculture policy describes our vision and key principles for sustainable agriculture, including protecting biodiversity, eliminating deforestation, stewardship of the air, soil, and water, and mitigating climate change. We also have raw material specific codes and policies. Corbion's cane sugar policy defines the specific requirements for the production of sustainable cane sugar, based on the definitions for sustainable sugar cane and derived products as set out by Bonsucro. Our palm oil statement describes our requirements for responsible sourcing of palm, including no deforestation, no peat, and no exploitation. Lastly our statement on soy, describes our soy sourcing and engagement around this commodity. We also implement relevant certification schemes for palm oil and cane sugar. For palm oil, we focus on implementing the supply chain standard of the Round Table for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) for all of our products that contain palm oil and/or palm-oil derived ingredients. We believe that this is currently the best and most widely used tool available to drive change in the palm oil supply chain. In 2020, we sourced palm oil and our primary oleochemicals 100% RSPO certified. We are now focused on converting our secondary oleochemicals. For cane sugar, we utilize Bonsucro certification. Globally some 5% of the sugar cane growing areas is certified and for our main sourcing area, Thailand, this is less than 2%. We therefore audit our cane sugar suppliers against the Corbion cane sugar code if they are not yet able to deliver Bonsucro-certified sugar and aim for 100% verified responsibly sourced sugar by 2025.

 

Impact on the ground

Sustainable agriculture has the potential to protect the planet, enhance the economic viability of the agricultural sector, and support the livelihoods and well-being of farmers and the communities they work in. We are collaborating with our suppliers and other partners to implement sustainable agriculture practices to drive ecosystem improvements in our sourcing areas.

To drive change for our key US agriculture raw materials (corn, soy, and wheat), we joined Field to Market, the alliance for sustainable agriculture. Field to Market strives to create continuous improvements in productivity, environmental quality, and human well-being across the agricultural supply chain. Members of Field to Market include farmers, agribusiness, grain buyers, food companies, retailers, and conservation groups.

In 2020, we partnered with Cargill and Practical Farmers of Iowa to develop a soil health program targeting corn growers in the sourcing region surrounding Corbion's manufacturing facility in Blair, Nebraska. The program is focused on the adoption of soil health practices, including no till, planting of cover crops, and nutrient management. It aims to reduce GHG emissions, increase soil organic matter, increase farmer resilience, improve water quality, and leverage technical assistance and farmer-farmer networks to drive change.

To promote sustainable agriculture for the production of soy, we partnered with Truterra, LLC, the sustainability business of Land O’Lakes and a leader in scaling-up private-sector conservation solutions. The Truterra™ Insights Engine allows farmers and downstream value chain partners to measure sustainability progress and trends in real time at field level. The digital platform creates a framework for continuous improvement while also benchmarking against yield and profitability, ensuring customized, scalable on-farm conservation solutions that both protect our natural resources and are good for the farmer. In 2020, the first 20,000 acres in Nebraska/Iowa were enrolled in this program.

Click here to learn more about our project with Truterra.



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