Respecting the environment and using natural resources sustainably in all phases of food production and consumption is the responsibility of all of us. The environmental impact of Atria's products throughout their life cycles is centred around our main raw material – meat production. In addition to the climate impact of agricultural production, significant environmental effects that must be managed include the water-intensity of production, eutrophication of water systems, acidification of soil, weakening natural diversity and scarcity of natural resources.
Producers play a key role in managing the environmental impact of primary production. In order for each farm to minimise its environmental impact, various solutions can be employed depending on the type of farm. Resource efficiency and good input-output ratios play a key role from the perspective of the environment. The management of the environmental impact of primary production in the EU is also steered by environmental compensation that is paid to producers who take various measures to reduce their environmental impact.
In addition to reducing the harmful environmental effects of production, farms play a significant role in maintaining and developing the diversity of nature and the landscape, as well as in protecting the growth habitats of endangered species. Animal husbandry and grazing play an important role in maintaining and caring for traditional biotopes. Grazing ensures that landscapes remain open and promotes natural diversity by enabling plants, insects, butterflies and birds to reproduce. Milk production – which provides a significant proportion of Finnish beef as an eco-efficient by-product – is the most efficient way to maintain grassland farming in areas in which fields would otherwise go unused. The relative benefit of grassland farming increases from south to north as the conditions for farming other plants or grain further north are unfavourable as the fields are poorly adapted to grain farming, producing smaller harvests.
In addition, buffer strips and pleiotropic wetlands significantly increase natural diversity by acting as natural growth habitats for various plant and animal species. Buffer strips and pleiotropic wetlands should prevent excess nutrients from being displaced from fields into water systems.
Atria supports the sustainable development of primary production by offering expert services to help production farms to develop. In order for each farm to manage its environmental impact, it is essential that the following matters are taken care of:
* Care must be taken to ensure that fields offer good conditions for growth and are suitable for good farming practices
* Manure must be handled correctly (storage, manure-spreading practices, other beneficial uses)
* Animals must be offered balanced nutrition in accordance with a feeding plan
* Rearing must be efficient and animals must be taken care of
* The animal breeds must be good