Right type of feeding, smaller environmental effects

Environmental responsibility in primary production

Right type of feeding, smaller environmental effects

Feed production is highly significant for animal husbandry, in both financial and environmental terms. Attention must be paid to feeding animals methodically and procuring feed raw materials. Atria is able to play a part in boosting the environmental efficiency of animal husbandry through its own feed production and nutritional advice.

Local feed

On farms, production animals are mainly fed local feed – grain that is grown on the farm or nearby. Pigs are fed barley and broilers are fed oats, while cattle are fed grass from the same farm. Supplementary protein, vitamins and minerals are also needed, as they are essential for animal growth and welfare.

In Finland, production animals eat less soy on average than animals in other European countries. Soy is problematic in terms of its environmental effects. A-Rehu’s component solutions favour local Finnish feeds and the use of protein in feeding. Atria is continuously working to reduce the consumption of foreign soy.

Since 2017, A-Rehu has added Finnish broad beans to chicken feeds, in addition to Finnish feed peas, to reduce the level of their foreign soy and wheat content. The cultivation of feed peas and broad beans improves the structure and nitrogen economy of the field while also reducing the need for nitrogen fertilisation. They are also good ways to improve crop rotation.

Pig farms will be able to replace soy feed with Finnish broad beans in the future. However, barley protein feed from the ethanol industry is the most significant way to replace soya on pig farms.

Cattle receive supplementary protein from Finnish rapeseed extract or European colza. A-Rehu has not used ground soya in beef cattle feeds since autumn 2017.

Responsible soy

A-Rehu uses always Pro Terra certified, or certified by equivalent standards, responsibly produced ground soya in its products. A-Rehu uses both GM-free ground soya and GM-soya. Most of the feed that Atria’s production animals eat is GM-free.

More than 80 per cent of global soya production is based on genetically modified plants, and the global availability of GM-free ground soya is constantly decreasing. Since the availability and the cost of GM-free protein supplements is uncontrollable, Finnish meat producers cannot currently be required to commit to using 100 per cent GM-free protein supplements. Atria currently does not distinguish between meatproducing farms on the basis of whether their animals are fed on feeds containing genetically modified raw materials.