Fazer’s Sustainable Grain Farming Principles published: Fazer is working with farmers to make farming more sustainable
Fazer has begun cooperation in the value chain of grain to make farming more environmentally friendly. As the largest buyer of flour and a significant consumer of grain in the Baltic region, Fazer has put together ten tangible principles of sustainable farming to reduce the eutrophication of waters and maintain the cultivability of soil in the long term. Fazer's aim is to have all of its grain compliant with the principles by 2025. The initiative is part of Fazer's commitment to the Baltic Sea.
Fazer is committed to developing its sourcing of raw materials, production and offering in a manner that supports the ecological balance of the Baltic Sea. "Through cooperation in the value chain, we have reached our goal of using only domestic rye. Now, in cooperation with farmers, we are exploring ways to protect the Baltic Sea and our water systems," says Markus Hellström, Managing Director of Fazer Bakery Finland.
Fazer's aim is to have all the grain it uses comply with Fazer’s Sustainable Grain Farming Principles by 2025. Fazer is encouraging the adoption of the principles of sustainable farming as the minimum level in domestic farming.
Many sustainable farming principles are already reality
Fazer’s Sustainable Grain Farming Principles is a list of ten measures that aim to keep nutrients in the fields – where they can be used by crops – and out of water systems. The objective is to reduce eutrophication, protect biodiversity and minimise the use of chemicals.
According to Fazer's survey of its contractual and other farmers conducted in the autumn of 2016, most of the principles are already being followed fully or partially. Some of the principles are also included in the criteria of the EU's environmental subsidies. Now these principles have been compiled into a comprehensive operating method, the impact of which is monitored, and which will be used to guide Fazer's sourcing of grain.
The principles of sustainable farming support the productivity of grain farming, as well as the effective use of resources. "The responses to the survey indicate that many aspects of domestic farming are already sustainable, and our farmers are highly skilled. The value chain of farming can affect the cleanliness of water systems and the cultivability of soil in many ways, such as by recycling nutrients, utilising precision farming and avoiding the use of harmful chemicals," Markus Hellström goes on to say.
”In Finland, strong field research work and technology have contributed to the development of cultivation which protects the Baltic Sea. With the help of precision farming and caring for fertility, farmers increase their chances of making sure that their plants get the nutrients they need at the right time. Precision farming must also be financially profitable, and cooperation is needed between the different actors on farm level. By taking part in on-farm experiments, the breeding industry can, for its part, promote the implementation of the newest technologies on farms,” says Liisa Pietola, Environmental Director of MTK (The Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners).
Monitoring the environmental impact
Fazer will pilot the principles at select contract farms. The company is currently seeking a partner to develop a method of monitoring the environmental impact at the pilot farms. The aim is to collect information that can be monitored regarding the effect of the farming principles on fields and water systems. Furthermore, Fazer will monitor the development of all Finnish contract farms used by Fazer Mills with an annual survey in autumn, as well as measurements and a survey carried out in conjunction with advance sampling.
"The cooperation with Fazer and the joint evaluation of operations with regard to the Baltic Sea has been very productive," says BSAG's Secretary General Mathias Bergman. "Sustainable farming has a considerable direct impact on minimising the nutrient emissions that are causing eutrophication in the Baltic Sea," Mathias Bergman continues. Fazer's commitment to the Baltic Sea is a comprehensive effort where, in addition to the farming principles, Fazer has developed its selection of responsible products and reduced the amount of food waste in Fazer Food Services’ restaurants. "Thanks to its position, Fazer can act as an example for other operators of how to put sustainable principles into action."
The principles of sustainable farming have been created in cooperation with Finnish and Swedish stakeholders. Diverse groups such as farmers, producers' associations and environmental organisations have participated in the work. Development efforts with farmers will continue in contractual farming.
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Fazer’s Sustainable Grain Farming Principles
1. Minimise eutrophication: Measure nutrient balance every five years
2. Minimise eutrophication: Prepare an annual crop plan
3. Minimise eutrophication and the use of pesticides: Prepare a five-year crop rotation plan
4. Minimise eutrophication: Perform a soil analysis every five years
5. Minimise eutrophication: Adopt Precision Farming
6. Minimise eutrophication: Use catch crops, winter crops or cultivate in the spring
7. Minimise eutrophication: Use fertilizer enabling recirculation of nutrients without harming substances, avoid sludge
8. Protect biodiversity: Leave unfarmed/unsprayed areas with diverse vegetation
9. Protect biodiversity: Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
10. Minimise the use of chemicals: Minimise the use of straw-shortening agents
Markus Hellström, Managing Director, Fazer Bakery Finland, +358 40 732 0057
Nina Elomaa, Corporate Responsibility Director, Fazer Group, +358 45 354 8611
Leena Majamäki, VP Communications, Fazer Group, +358 40 585 1585
Fazer's media phone, open Mon–Fri from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., +358 40 6682 998
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Fazer is an international family-owned company offering quality bakery, confectionery, biscuit and grain products as well as food and café services. Fazer operates in eight countries and exports to around 40 countries. Fazer’s mission is to create taste sensations. Fazer’s success, ever since its establishment in 1891, has been based on the best product and service quality, beloved brands, the passion of its skilful people and the Group’s responsible ways of working. In 2016, Fazer Group had net sales of 1.6 billion euros and nearly 15,000 employees. Fazer’s operations comply with ethical principles that are based on the Group’s values and the UN Global Compact.
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