Sustainable and local sourcing allows healthy and efficient animal feed systems - Lorna Smith

When it comes to climate change, environmental sustainability and conservation the agricultural industry is, particularly during current global challenges, showing itself to be progressive and quick to adapt to change.

Thanks to scientists and farmers who are passionate about doing the right thing and who have spent years working towards food security, local sourcing and researching, the animal feed industry is able to keep animals fed in a way that keeps them healthy and efficient.

At Norvite, as specialists in animal nutrition, we focus on our mantra of Feed Better, Feed Less.

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With the current global challenges having seen feed costs rise by approximately 50 per cent, it is especially topical to consider feed efficiency. It has long been known that a healthy animal on a balanced diet has a reduced carbon footprint and so we focus on providing high quality sustainable feedstuffs to farms.

The NEOS plant crushes locally grown rapeseed, most of which is grown within 15 miles of the plant.

There are a lot of ways that we can improve livestock systems, such as by sourcing locally, supporting on-farm production of feeds in the way that Norvite has done for almost half a century, and utilising bespoke supplements to maximise efficiency of home-grown cereals and forages.

One of Norvite’s most notable sustainable successes has been its NEOS plant, where it crushes locally grown rapeseed, most of which is grown within 15 miles of the plant, to provide energy and protein rich meal and oil cattle feed.

This provides a local and sustainable alternative to soya and palm derivatives which have a very high global environmental impact due to their production methods and the distances they travel from the Americas or Indonesia. Indeed, many major supermarkets are actively distancing themselves from the use of palm oil in any of the supply chains they use and so locally grown alternatives look set to provide a long-term solution.

The Norvite plant also makes use of a mechanical, rather than a solvent, extraction method, allowing the product to retain its natural vitamins and polyphenols, delivering higher nutritional value. In the dairy sector in particular, this high energy ingredient boosts milk yield in a way that is totally compatible with the nutritional requirements of the cow. Not only that, the locally grown oil seed products deliver additional protected fat over palm fat, ensuring a superior as well as more sustainable diet.

The NEOS family of products, including NEOflo, NEOpro and NEOlac has recently increased its sustainable credentials with the, rather timely, commissioning of a solar array on the roof of the plant. Installed by local specialists AES Solar of Forres, and covering the entire roof of the production plant, this renewable energy will generate 94000kwh of electricity per annum, save at least 44 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year, as well as provide further reassurance to farmers who choose to do the right thing by Feeding Better, Feeding Less.

Let’s not forget that farm sustainability also leads to food sustainability. This is of course relevant when it comes to meat and dairy consumption – feeding locally produced feed to the animals we eat has a positive impact on the sustainability of our own diets, allowing us to enjoy a healthy, tasty and balanced diet which not only supports the Scottish agricultural sector but also the planet.

Lorna Smith, Director, Norvite – Specialists in Animal Nutrition

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